Which Relationships

December 16, 2017

I woke up even before my grandson today realizing that my entire life now could be focused on nurturing select relationships – grandkids, adult children, siblings, not to mention my own mom and my own intimate partner. 

Doing the math, that’s 2+3+9+1+1 = 16! Then there are the in-laws of siblings, which adds another eight for a total of 24 family members that I could be caring about, communicating with, and supporting. I haven’t even considered the 25 nieces and nephews or the 13 or so greats. So I’m up to 53 family I could be choosing as important relationships to nurture.

How do I choose which ones? 

I’m half way through my week of visiting my two grandkids. I did decide that creating relationships with them is essential and worth investing my week’s vacation and a thousand dollars on travel.

How about siblings? They have garnered varying levels of my attention in my adult life. They linger in my background as people I know I can always call. They live in widespread places where I might travel occasionally. I have a vague notion of what they’re doing and follow a few on Facebook. 

One thing that has stood in my way of deeper connection with them is my belief that I’m too different to be respected. Maybe they feel the same way about me! That belief has wavered some over the years as I have transformed it. As with most limiting beliefs, they were simply mirroring my own self-hatred, so I was hearing their criticism and disinterest through my own filter of rejection. Most likely I didn’t actually know what they were thinking. All I could hear was my own self-doubt.

They, however, are the people I have known the longest – my whole life, really. They are the first people to do this magic mirroring and the ones who were there competing with me for my parents’ attention, the ones diminishing the family resources!

Before I knew about Radical Forgiveness, they were the ones I could blame for my poverty, my emotional trauma, my social struggles. Now, through the lens of the Thirteen Steps, I can be open that they were the ones helping me have these soul-defining experiences from which I could learn and grow.

Imperfection Accepted

December 15, 2017

What if I have a project for watching the sunrise every day, or sending a weekly blogpost, or painting every day for thirty days, or walking the Appalachian Trail?

What if I miss a day of sun watching or painting or skip a week of posting or take a day off walking? 

Does that negate my success or mean that I failed? 

Does it matter if I have a valid excuse for skipping a turn? How about if I had set up the project with parameters for skipping? 

So, I went outside and watched the sunrise for 60 consecutive days, and on Day 61,  I slept through it. My reason, my excuse, my choice was that I had traveled east to a different time zone, so sunrise was three hours earlier than my body’s rhythm had developed. I needed the rest.  I did feel a little sad, a little diminished in accomplishment. Then, I decided to let myself off my made up hook. I decided that I could love myself anyway and accept this imperfection in my plan. 

What if I let myself off the hook for other imperfect accomplishments in my life, like days of rest on a long distance walk, days with no painting in my thirty-Day project, a blog free week in five months of weekly posts. That seems just fine. I can accept myself having done that. 

Now, I’m wondering if letting myself off the hook of self-hate could be done for even egregious inconsistencies like skipping a day of my marriage, or taking a day off work, or a day off breathing? Well, the breathing one is taken care of, right? But, suppose I could let go of self-hate for my divorce. Maybe even that project could be ongoing yet inconsistent.

I’ll ponder that!

What are your thoughts and wisdom about this?

Hummingbird Light

December 1, 2017

The hummingbird’s purple only shows when the sun hits it just right. Is there something about my soul that requires light to shine? Is my soul a source of radiance or a reflector of spiritual light?

Pondering this as hummingbird flits before me.

Always Time for Radical Forgiveness

December 1, 2017

The more I become open to the ideas  that “everything happens for a reason” and “others are a mirror for my beliefs” I see those playing out on my life’s stage constantly!

Sometimes I now catch myself while feeling upset or blaming someone realizing that I have the option to reflect on how that person might be mirroring something in me that I can’t love about myself. I realize that I might have the choice to live that behavior in them and in so doing love that in myself too. 

It certainly keeps things interesting!