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.
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?
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!
November 29, 2017
In our 47 consecutive days of watching the sunrise, today’s is the most unique. All grayness. Still beautiful in its subtlety, yet most different from my sunrise stereotype. A message for me about forming expectations and judging certain qualities as good or bad. Do I focus on what’s missing? Perhaps indulging in gray can be beneficial. One friend said she likes gray days. They are more restful.
Step Six of the Thirteen steps asks “Are you willing to release your need to judge the situation as either right or wrong good or bad? Even if you can’t explain how can you simply allow the situation to be perfect just the way it is?” The gray sunrise reminds me of Step Six.
Try them out yourself just!
November 27th, 2017
Witness an unfolding journey of my heart:
November 25, 2017
“Love to all today. I celebrate your family fullness in my heart.” What I did not send to my adult kids today.
I feel unworthy to share this sentiment and all the turmoil of my heart as my children gather with their dad’s family for a cousin’s wedding. The feeling of separation and exclusion is not new. Heart connection was always tenuous with the inlaws, and twenty-five years into the marriage, exclusion was clearly stated. At that time, I legally had the right to be there. Ten years later, divorce just makes it official. Exclusion is now proper and justified.
But, I still feel sad, as I did while still legally included.
The Radical Forgiveness tools guide me to “love myself having these feelings and know that when I am ready I can choose peace.”
Well, today I do feel sad, and I feel unworthy to share my true feelings with my family, and even with my partner. What I believe is that my family doesn’t want my drama and my partner doesn’t resonate with my feelings about family. Since I actually have no right nor ability to project my beliefs into the minds of others, I must conclude that these beliefs are mine.
What if I project love, oneness, compassion, fullness? I resist that, and yet I’m willing to try it out, pretend that a new belief is another option.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
Later on November 25, 2017
I felt my feelings. Cried a bit. Kept silent while allowing others to mingle freely. I would not have gone to the party anyway because I am committed to the job I’m doing out here in California. I let it be ok to be here, open to the idea that I don’t know how Spirit is guiding me in this event. “I am open to the idea that this is happening not so much to me as for me.”
November 26, 2017
My son posted a video of my grandson at the family venue, innocent and cute. It was easy to feel acknowledged, included, connected to them in that moment.
Later, I received an email from my ex-husband that is a miracle! He had written the first cordial sentence he has shared since our divorce on April 9, 2013.
“Yes it was a lovely event. Lots of Skardas and two mischievous babies.”
A breakthrough, in my opinion, for the man who had declared that after our divorce it would be as if he never knew me. I graciously acknowledge this miracle of the heart!
November 27th, 2017
I acknowledge and celebrate this transformative journey. “I now see that what was occurring was exactly what my soul created for my spiritual growth and I am now grateful for this situation.”
November 25, 2017
What if I created a service that I need myself?
A S.T.O.R.Y. (Sustained Tale of Repressed Yearning, or “Old Story”) hotline. I want to call in right now and have my story witnessed and validated. Do my crying, then be guided in the 13-steps.
Would this appeal to you?!!
What would you gladly pay for this service?
November 22, 2107
Today marks the 4oth consecutive day John and I have watched the sunrise! I continue to be enthralled by the variation of colors, light patterns, even suspense level in the daily display of this dependable phenomenon. Can I be, or can my life be, like the sunrise? Reliable, colorfully variable, always worth getting up for?
Well, I know having the sun to watch every morning can give my life that encouraging quality! What’s occurring to me as I reflect on this is the idea that I would like to be someone to be counted on with a message that discovering and choosing one’s unique fulfillment is something worth getting up for every day. I want to be colorful, varied, maybe even suspenseful, with sharing my experiences of walking in Nature using the tools of Radical Forgiveness as a path to fulfillment. That would be my fulfillment.
I suppose one difference between me and the sun is that I get to choose to walk my path. Every day I get to choose, actually! Does the sun choose? I have thought not. And, you know, the way the idea of walking and using Radical Forgiveness is always on my mind, inspires the thought that maybe I don’t have to make my life purpose question so hard, either. The sun has a unique purpose. It’s the only one doing its job. What it does is do that every day, varying the colors, the moods, the expression, in a pattern of seasonal and daily rhythm. Maybe my tendency to always be thinking about walking in Nature, about playing Satori, about doing Circle Ceremonies, and about guiding people in the 13 Steps together with colorful energy balancing is my clue to my job.
Like my friend who answered her call to work with horses.
Or another friend who discovered that if he keeps dancing life and love dance too.
It’s funny that even though I’ve been diligent in getting up for sunrise every day for the past 40 days, it was just this morning that a song I loved, well, not quite 40 years ago, popped into my head. Thanks to Youtube, I can share it with you! Dan Fogelberg’s To the Morning.
My favorite line in it is:
Well it’s going to be a day. There is really no way to say “No” to the morning.
Maybe there’s no way to say no to my calling, either. What do you think?
P.S. What a sobering surprise!!! While enjoying my revival of this song, I discovered that Dan Fogelberg has already passed on! Dang! Aged 56, with prostate cancer. That sure reminds me that fulfilling my purpose is something to attend, to keep choosing and expressing – before it’s too late! That said, my Radical Forgiveness view would help me be open to the idea that everything is perfect from a Spiritual perspective. Dan’s time was perfect for his soul journey, as mine will be also. Perhaps I can’t miss my life’s purpose, after all! And, it will be a whole lot more fun to fill it with forgivenesswalks in Nature than other things! I sure am glad that Dan sang!
November 20, 2017
Thanks for reading! I love delving into my life’s journey with the tools of Radical Forgiveness. Using the tools often helps me love myself having my feelings and using them to open my heart to myself and others. When that happens, I have more energy to get things done and to create in many different ways. I can relate with others more easily too! I’m much calmer in crises and can listen to others’ drama without having to get caught up in it myself.
For comparison, Thanksgiving Day reminds me of how I used to be and how I know my life is better now. At a family Thanksgiving gathering, my sister made a comment about my tofu dish. My stuffed anger and shame exploded and I threw the glass casserole dish to the floor. Crash!
Of course, that didn’t address my emotions, just made them worse, right? Making a scene just gave everyone else the chance to stuff their feelings and clean up the mess.
The Radical Forgiveness tools – Satori, the 13 Steps, and RF worksheets have been gateways for me to recognize limiting beliefs, practice venting, learn a new loving vocabulary, and entertain new perspectives for my views. I like the way the tools reliably guide me through my upsets without me having to figure anything out. It seems like miracles happen when I do.
Thanks for reading my blogposts! You know, it actually helps keep me accountable to my path, which I gladly will continue!
Let me know how I’m helping you, and what you need! I want the best for you too!
Here’s a link to The 13 Steps process. Maybe you can use it for a Thanksgiving clearing!
Joy to you!
November 15, 2017
What would I feel when I crossed that road, meeting the spot where I had left the trail two years before? When I got there I could celebrate having walked all 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The spot lacked the drama of Mt. Katahdin or Springer Mountain, the geographic endpoints of the trail. My completion point was the crossing of VA state route 624, near Catawba. There’s no sign or plaque, no natural landmark or feature. Just white blazes on both sides indicating that the trail continues in both directions.
What did I do?
I cried. I burst into tears, saying “I’ve walked all of the Appalachian Trail. I’ve completed something that seemed really big. Now I can say, yes, I’ve walked the AT, in one short sentence.”
They were the kind of tears that well up unawares, like when my Dad showed up to pick me up from camp when I thought my friend’s dad would be there. Underneath was the belief that he would be too busy and I wasn’t important enough since there were so many other kids. This was like that too, only this time it was myself trying to stuff down the importance of this accomplishment, like there were so many other worthy accomplishments, why did this matter so much? Well, because it did, that’s all.
John, my hiking partner, took my picture. It’s a good thing it’s blurry because my face was all squeezed with crying, so my victory pose steals the show. It was dusk on a cold day and we needed to find our tentsite for the night, just like other nights on the trail.
In the morning we would continue south – toward John’s completion spot about 250 miles further at Damascus. I would keep walking with him, adding miles to my second traverse of the AT, ulimately going all 693 miles to Springer Mountain. For the night though, I could rest on my laurels of being an Appalachian Trail 2000 miler.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of that moment. I’m still walking trails with Hiker John, whose presence with me that day signifies one of the most dramatic changes my Thruhike initiated. My husband John had left the trail just two days before, having aborted his three-week time with me after just ten days. Hiker John had jumped back to walk with me again, planning to retrace the 180 miles he had covered while I had been walking with John.
Although I had thought I would finish the trail and then go back home to resume my life with John, in our hearts we had already taken separate paths. Stumbling along to our divorce is another chapter in our Inner Journey.
Today, I can remember and celebrate a completion along my way – becoming an Appalachian Trail 2000 Miler.