I Can’t Change the d*** Picture!

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O my – it has been a week!

Monday feels like a month ago.  Monday morning, the list lay before me – full of good exciting, ”living my purpose” things.  My husband was preparing to fly to Florida to help coach at a marriage seminar.  I planned on putting the finishing touches on my new website  (a completion of one of my BIG steps).

And then the week began … in earnest.

My husband became VERY sick with the flu, and HIGH temperature. My eye condition flares up – it feels unmanageable.  The food in my freezer is NOT frozen. The boys are experiencing some frustrating work-related issues and need to talk.  My new email address is not working.  I lose 2 ½ hours of my editing on the website.  Barry recovers, but has an irritating seat companion on his flight, and then arrives in Florida with his IPAD missing.  And one of “our” couples is in crisis – well not just one!  I want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head – AGGGHHH!

Let me tell you about my website experience.  I decided to use a “preformatted web site” since this is my first go at it.  But I need to edit text, and add a few pages.  So I create a new page – with a bold title RELATIONSHIP COACHING, with glorious words flowing after.   My husband and I work with couples in CRISIS, so the words need to be sensitive, hopeful and encouraging. The page is great, words are great … but wait! – There is a preformatted picture!  Right beside the impressive headline RELATIONSHIP COACHING is a picture of two handsome smiling men.  Really? I panic.  I have no negative reflections about an alternative lifestyle – but I don’t want to create an impression that I can coach gay men!  Honestly – no judgments, but o my goodness, it would not be my coaching niche or area of expertise!  And I can’t seem to move or edit or insert a new picture. Then I hit a WRONG BUTTON – all my editing, writing – gone.  When I tried to change the picture – I lost everything.

Wow – did you hear that?

When I tried to change the picture – I lost everything.

I was angry, frustrated.  I could have cried.  Panic, worry, anxiety.  Lost IPAD, unfrozen food, relationship crisis, kids needing help, medical issues.  It all appeared in the format of life, in an unexpected place, time and position.  I couldn’t change the damn picture.  The picture was not consistent with my intentions and plans for my week.  My life, like my web page, was supposed to have a pre-determined, specific content and purpose this week.

But the picture did not fit – and I wanted and desperately needed to change it!

When I tried to change the picture – I lost everything.

Long pause. Long, long contemplative pause…………….

 

My picture, …a different button to push, …a different way to respond.  It wasn’t necessary for me to lose everything!  I have been saying that I am learning to “move with the flow,” in my life.  This week I faced much resistance to MY plans.  Instead of frantically trying to DELETE the website picture, what if I laughed at the irony and absurdity of it?  What if I faced the opposition in my life with peace and calm?  It isn’t always possible in the moment, I know.  But what if I choose to trust that each trial is an opportunity for me to learn something new?  By embracing the challenge, and seeking God, and new answers – I receive answers to prayer, and PARTICIPATE in MIRACLES.

I will fast forward to the end of my week.  I DID choose to embrace peace, and acceptance of the challenges. My blog is finally being written.   The food in the freezer is frozen. The worries of my sons have been resolved. I have a new relationship with a web designer.  I am learning SO SO much about the WEB and technology, and in so doing, moving closer to fulfillment of my dreams and goals.  MIRACLE – My husbands’s IPAD has been found and returned.  He is having a great time in Florida, bringing inspiration and healing to marriages.  And together, this week, we have continued to step into the fray – offering hope and healing to marriages and relationships in crisis.

There was great resistance this week and I fought against the unexpected picture. But the presence of the “out of context” picture, gave me an opportunity to LEARN, to GROW and EXPERIENCE miracles.

…. And opportunity to take ANOTHER STEP! More than once!

Don’t try so hard to change the picture – maybe it has a few gifts to give you!

 

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THE LIE – It is a Lie

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It is the silent whispering, ringing words that tell us we are no good, that we are nothing, we don’t matter, we will never measure up, we are not loveable.  The words echo and scream, soundlessly screech and grab us when we are least expecting, choking our breath, encasing us with fear, pain and hate.

It is causes us to react in anger, condemnation, judgment, violence, depression and self-imposed emotional prisons. We withdraw from relationship, and our world or we lash out in vengeance, pay back and spite.

I don’t want to write sad words.  But I am sad.

My son had a friend, a beautiful young woman – whose parents laid her to rest on New Years eve.  Tomorrow we attend a funeral for another young man – full of promise – at the age of 21, a victim of senseless violence.

I suppose I am impacted because these young people are the age of my sons.  But I can’t make sense of the loss.  The loss of promise, of potential, and the investment of love, that  will no longer find expression in this world.  It is appropriate to feel great depths of grief, because it is not right.

But I think it begins with the lie.

How would our world change if we believed differently in ourselves??  What if a young woman believed in the brilliance that radiated from her spirit – would she allow depression to whisper “you are not good enough?”  What if a young man believed in his power to change the world for good– would he listen to the voice that shouts “you don’t matter!”  What if a young person knew from top to bottom that they were loveable, and worthy and valuable – would their response to life be different from believing the words of the lie – “I am nothing.”

We all have a lie that haunts us.  It is always present, persistent and lurking  … it is why we react, protect ourselves and lash out.  If we believed differently about ourselves – our reactions would be different.

“If I was loveable, my father wouldn’t have abandoned me. And since I am not loveable – my spouse will leave me.”  “If I was worthy, I would have a better life.  And since I am not worthy – only bad things will keep happening to me.”  “If I measured up, was good enough, I would have more success in my life.  But since I am nothing I will not try, or even risk.”

Or we fight back …”I will NEVER let THAT happen to me again.”  “I will NEVER be hurt like that again.”  We shake our fists at the heavens and vow to “Never, ever!”  And in letting the lie rule, we imprison a part of our soul.

I want to know why the young people who stabbed a treasured son thought it was necessary to express their anger and pain in such a way.  I want to know what lie they were fighting and why it blinded them so.

And I want to know why I was hurt and felt rejected by a friend this week.  I want to know why I believed that lie that whispered “you are not good enough”, and allowed it to reign over my spirit.

I really want to know why we listen to the lie and allow the pain to determine the path in our lives.  Why is it harder to believe in our purpose and promise?

This week was a lesson in seeing THE LIE in action, on a big scale and on a ME scale.  I wonder, if we conversed through our beauty, purpose and truth – wouldn’t that be better than conversing through a cloud of fear, anger and lies?  Wouldn’t that make a difference?

This week, this has been part of my journey – recognizing the power that THE LIE has to distort and destroy life – and ultimately life itself.  Listening to the lie is dangerous.  I choose to believe and LIVE in truth.

This is the truth about me …

I am a strong and worthy woman, touching hearts with peace and joy.

What is the TRUTH about you?  Believe it and LIVE it!

Share the TRUTH of YOU with the world.

The Sensation of Flow

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I noticed something new in my spirit today.

I have longed for contentment during most of my life. Quietness, satisfaction of spirit and soul always seemed just around the corner – and just out of reach.  Sometimes my fingers rested on it, but it was elusive and easily slipped away.  It seems there was always a whispering that kept the contentment at bay.

But this morning as I began to write after the long holiday break – my first thoughts were of acceptance.  It was a new feeling – and it caught me by surprise.  And it is a wonderful sensation.

My life is far from perfect – and a distance from where I have set my goals.  I am on the upward climb from a valley of challenges, failures, setbacks and fear.  There has been gain, but there has been the reality of loss.

And yet I am at peace.  I have a deep encompassing acceptance of where I am in this moment.  It is not a “woohoo”, “life is a party” kind of happy feeling.  But it is SO good – and something I have been longing to feel.

It comes from a place of accepting that I will make mistakes today – I will say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing and neglect something today.  I am accepting the fact that even when I have everything lined up perfectly – life has lessons waiting for me to learn.  My lessons usually come through difficulty and challenges.  The combination of my striving and not accepting what life brings my way causes pain.

How do I react when faced with an obstacle?  I have often misunderstood the challenge and decided that God was against me.  My reactions turned me toward pain instead of facing an opportunity to grow.

Maybe that is what I am feeling today.  I am facing a couple of significant problems that appear to be blocking my path.  That is nothing new.  But something is different – I am at peace.  I know there is a solution, if I quiet my heart long enough to hear the answer.  The outcome may not be what I desire in this moment – but there may be a treasure waiting for me if I accept an alternate outcome.  I am able to sit with disappointment for a time, and then say “ God – I want YOUR best for my life, not what I think is best.  So – I release the outcome to YOU.”

Several years ago, I listened to someone comparing life to a river. It was about choosing to move with a current instead of trying to paddle upstream.  I would visualize myself floating down a river – arms outstretched, letting the water carry me – relaxed with the journey.  It took a lot of intention and focus to stop “paddling” and let the river carry me – even in my imagination!

So today, I am fascinated by this new sensation.  It feels good to “flow” with the current in my life – to accept each day for what it is, to be challenged, and find growth.  To move towards my dreams and goals, using my paddle to steer instead of frantically, frenetically fighting the current.

This is more than contentment, definitely not passivity.  It is an action, a choice, a step – acceptance is movement.  It is letting go of pain and resistance.  It is appreciating the value of ALL things that I face today.  In this moment – it feels divine!

By the way – I took this picture of my nearby river on our cold, frosty Christmas Day.  There was magic by the river that afternoon.  I think that is what life is like … magical – when I accept what the day has to offer!