Whose Journey is it??

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This morning I dropped Eli off for his first day ever of day camp.  He hesitated for a moment leaving the car.  I began to offer assistance and then stopped myself and waited a moment and breathed.  Next  he dashed out with the counselor, not saying good bye and not a backward glance.  As I drove away, tears clouded my sight and began free flowing down my cheeks.  Sad?  No.  I loved camp and felt excitement for him.  So why was I crying?

Crying for the joy of him growing up and the momentary twist in my heart that he has taken another “growing up step” towards independence.  He is no longer that little baby dependent on me and Marc for everything.  He has a mind of his own.  He speaks and shares his feelings, joys and sorrows.  This is a wonderful thing and exactly what we want for him.  Yet I know it will never be the same.  I cry for the time slipping by so fast and though I’m enjoying each moment, the moments are passing faster and faster.  And sometimes I miss that little baby who needed me for everything.

I cry acknowledging my feelings in the present, expressing them and knowing I’m happy and moving forward in my journey of life. I embrace each age of his, mine and each new chapter of our lives as if it is a new adventure in a book I’m reading and cannot put it down.

So I wonder as I walk my journey, watch Eli and support him walking his own journey, is it easy to support and  not push ourselves to walk our loved ones path?

My path, your path, our path…Walking a path, journey of life. In any relationship what is the difference between walking your own path and supporting your loved one AND walking their path believing you are supporting them?

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Have you ever chatted with  a friend, a loved one sharing a situation?  Ever had them tell you (without being asked) “here is what you need to do and provide a step by step solution?  In the case of you listening, ever hear them and think, I know how to fix this. If only they would: blah, blah, blah, blah? And then you find yourself speaking all those thoughts. Ever get angry at the person telling you what to do? Ever have your friend get mad at your suggestions? You know each of you comes from a place of love  AND yet…not working.

Why?

Consider,   did they ask for my help or my ear?  Am I coming from a placed of pure love for them or trying to “fix” them or their situation based on my own life experiences and fear?

I did this exact thing to my husband for YEARS, walked his path I mean.  When he was laid off, my fear about income had me “suggesting” all these things he could do, people he could speak with.  I was really just ramming a bunch of stuff down his throat which probably made him feel worse than he was feeling.  Did I ask him if he wanted my numerous suggestions? Nope.  Did I ask him to share with me his plan, desires, feelings? Nope.  I just took over planning how this was going to get fixed so I would feel better.

Well, you can imagine this went over like a ton of bricks…THUD.  He grew silent, withdrawn and easier to anger.  Early on I attributed this to the actual lay off only becoming aware later how I contributed.  Now this is an extreme example though there are many in our lives.

It took me awhile to deal with my own fears, realize what I was doing and STOP.   I read.  I meditated.  I saw my own intuitive for counsel.  When I stopped, I saw Marc change.  The anger abated.  The silence left.  He was my loving, communicative partner again.

Does that mean I am completely healed and never do this to anyone in my life? No.  I am human.  I am aware.  I strive to ask permission to give a suggestion or wait until I’m asked. And sometimes I dive in “spitting up” my ideas all over.  When I notice something off in my relationships, I go inward first and replay in my head.  Then I ASK.  ASKING is key.  Next I accept responsibility for my attempt to TAKE OVER.  Does it always go well? Nope.  This is real life.  People are human with human reactions stemming from their own life experiences that sometimes have something to do with me and most often, not.  My awareness helps me stay on my own path and less often taking over someone else’s.  Awareness and LOTS of practice.

If you want my opinion, give it a whirl.  It changed my life.          Lovingly Lotus

 

 

 

 

 

Surrender & Gratitude;The Hare, The Bear

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Friday lead in to my son’s big birthday weekend.  His grandma headed north to join the festivities.  Sometimes in the past, this visit filled me with trepidation. Not because of my mother in law,  I am fortunate we have an open, honest and close relationship.  The trepidation stemmed from how her visits affected my husband and the “trickle down or around effect.”
My husband greatly desires peaceful visits where everyone gets along.  Now I don’t know about you, but in my family we love deeply, get along mostly and disagree passionately, at least in the past.

In the past, the stress my hubby put on himself to keep the visits happy & peaceful could be felt by everyone else, especially me.  He believed he could control the type and level of emotion or confrontation expressed by the rest of us.  Seriously. This often lead to tension and almost every visit dealing with some level of anger or arguing, usually mid-visit only to be resolved by the visit’s end.  Great recipe for the exact opposite of desired outcome.  And boy did it suck up a lot of energy leaving me (and probably each of us) feeling emotionally tired.

We continue to be a work in progress always striving to find a better way, shed a layer, etc.  Lately, our work encompasses  two words:  “surrender” and “gratitude” .   Surrender: Our ability to give up control  of how the outcome  of our desires occurs while having  faith our experiences, desired or not, come to us for our highest and greatest good. Sounds great in theory.  The struggle in the beginning relates to shifting  our actions, beliefs, trust and letting go to give up the control.  Not letting go of the end goal we desire, but letting go of the how, who, the way it looks and timeline in which it plays out.  We believe the control keeps us safe to achieve what we want when we want it.

In the case of family events like this weekend, our ability to control ourselves and set the stage we want to experience with our family- completely possible. Yet all the while we learned and must understand we  lack the control of:  other people at the events; circumstances; other people’s choices, etc. Again we  all choose how we react to all of this stimuli and that choice resides within each of us not controlled by someone else.

And so Marc and I discussed our desire for the weekend: joy, patience, peace and fun, just enjoy each other and each moment.  We were on the same page going in.  Both of us choosing to stay present in the moment rather than get sucked into someone else’s turmoil.  And potential turmoil presented itself throughout the weekend.

Friday the first challenge came.  Our son, had a tough morning at school.  We learned he turned his day around.  When we picked him up he was tentative about telling us about his day.  He didn’t want to lose out on picking out his birthday present and then going out for dinner.  Marc and I discussed the situation and determined together before picking him up: he turned his day around, therefore gift shopping and dinner out was on.  We did discuss what happened earlier in the day with him  and then we all chose to LET IT GO. No DRAMA.   We had a ball at dinner with me flashing back to EXACTLY 6 years ago in the same restaurant (wacky coincidence)  having dinner on my due date trying to eat SPICY things to bring on labor.  Eli thought this was hilarious. The weekend continued much the same way.  We had a wonderful birthday party with Eli’s friends, my in laws, my parents and lots of joyful, fun moments.

Did we have other moments that could’ve gone a different way? YOU BET.  There were a few.  I experienced some feelings of rejection and disappointment from another situation during our weekend.  I didn’t ignore these feelings, yet I chose to literally BREATHE through them.  Marc did the same.  We stayed with our “happy places”.  I saw such a shift in my husband of living the peace and joy he desired for the weekend.  I’m thrilled for him and for me  which brings me to the other word in our household: Gratitude, feeling appreciation and thanks.

www.lovinglylotus.com
www.lovinglylotus.com

We found so many moments each day this weekend to feel gratitude.  And last night after my mother in law left, we reflected  about the weekend filled with joy and peace.  Marc and I both expressed our gratitude for the weekend, each other, our choices and the wonderful outcome.  Our new life choices, as symbolized by the hare/rabbit, recognizes the tides of movement enabling us to  give birth to new ways of living and enjoying our lives.  And like the bear, we chose to go within, awaken our power, bringing it out into the open and applying it tasting the honey/sweetness of life.

Was it easy? Not yet.  It is newer to us and we have to make a more conscious choice.  Yet the end result fortified us both to continue and the more we make these choices, the easier it will become and eventually will be automatic.  It comes down to choices.

I am so grateful for these new choices.  I want to share my gratitude with you through the gratitude dance.  Surrender your control and get out there and dance the dance of gratitude.  Easy, no, life changing, YES!!      http://youtu.be/R9z2ELaBVJY

With so much gratitude,
Lovingly Lotus

I Forgive

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Recently, I experienced an act by someone that truly was malicious and vindictive.  I struggled at first to forgive.  Some friends asked me how I could even think of forgiving this person for the incident and what they did to my family.   Let me start with what I believe.  I believe ALL people are good, sometimes they make BAD or REALLY BAD choices.  Having said that, this incident was pretty awful and so I was struggling with my own belief.

The more I struggled, the angrier I became.  And the anger, I noticed, didn’t just come out about this incident.  It came out as being nit picky with my family.  It came out as feeling anger for things that never bothered me with friends and other family members.  I was feeling so powerless about what happened that any sense I had of someone not keeping their word,  not meeting agreed to or implied expectations, trying to control me  or what I deemed as harm in anyway went to that FEAR place inside and stirred up all I was feeling.

These feelings made me feel unlike my natural self and uncomfortable.  I had to figure out what to do to feel better.  As I sifted through conversations about it with my close friends, my family, my meditation/self and my journal, I realized to get back to my true self I had to find FORGIVENESS.  That doesn’t mean forget what happened or even reconcile with this person.  Forgive the person and what was done so I could move forward in my life, for me.   This doesn’t mean I condone what was done.  It means I released myself from the anger and made my way back to peace and happiness.  I remembered who I truly am.
For days, I said out loud _______ I FORGIVE YOU!! I know it was in my head at first and I wasn’t meaning in my heart as much as I desired.  I was still angry about the unjustness, about feeling like I couldn’t be me and thinking I had to  live my life a bit differently.  Yes, those were definitely powerless feelings.  The more I focused on feeling peaceful, having faith and trust in God and all I believe in, the support Marc and I have for each other, special giving friends who listened and advised so lovingly and saying “I FORGIVE YOU” outloud; I noticed the anger leaving.  No, it didn’t happen over night.  And some days I do still think about it, but it is now with more detachment.  I also took my life back and am living free, authentic and happy again.

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The pissiness at the little things has abated and my consistent compassion has returned along with my daily inner smile.  I have forgiven for my highest and greatest good and learning that has truly been a gift.  Yes, gift.  Are you shocked that I say that? Do you think I truly would consciously choose to have this experience? No WAY.  Yet it happened and I am stronger, better, more forigiving and happier for it.  Wow…I never thought weeks ago those words or feelings would be coming out of me…yet here I am.

I encourage everyone to forgive for yourself.  Carrying that anger around is toxic and affects even subtley all other aspects of your life.  The other persons or person doesn’t even need to know.  Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

Shift to a happier life,

Lovingly Lotus

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