Heartbreak and Hardships…sometimes life sucks

empowered

Sometimes I feel like I’m forced to face the same challenge a hundred times over. Same people, similar circumstances, over and over and over again. It seems like no matter what I do, I find myself in the middle of a new act in the exact same circus. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. It takes it’s toll on my body, my mind, and my spirit. Sometimes I swear I can feel my heart cracking.

As much as each experience breaks my heart a little more than the last, I continue to be grateful for the lessons I have learned along this bumpy road;

  1. Things are rarely as they seem
  2. Everyone wants to be heard, not everyone wants to be helped
  3. Dishonesty can take many forms; half-truths, withheld information, and deliberate misleading. Sometimes it pays to dig a little deeper
  4. Every person is doing the best that they can with the knowledge that they have
  5. I can only help people that want to be helped and only to the extent that they want to be helped
  6. Everyone needs, deserves, and is entitled to compassion and encouragement
  7. Mistakes are inevitable – Apologies are necessary
  8. The more you give, the more people will take; Personal boundaries are vital to personal well-being
  9. When I do the same as I’ve done, I continue to see the same results

Number 10 …. If I continue to find myself in the middle of a destructive cycle, it’s time to ask the question; what role do I play in the cycle? Am I enabling the pattern?

I usually take on the role of peacekeeper, which sometimes also translates to ‘enabler’.  I’ve allowed myself to be played as the rope in the middle of a tug-a-war (a war that isn’t even mine to fight!). I am responsible for taking on those roles. By removing myself from the cycle, change in that cycle is inevitable.

Not so long ago, I had the opportunity to put this theory to the test. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It was easily one of the most liberating as well.

We are all responsible for the choices we make in our lives. We are all responsible for the roles we play in it as well. If things aren’t working as they should, then is it not our responsibility to instill change?

Go for it!

Embrace your awesomeness!

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy Friendships, Forgiveness, and Jelly Beans

As always, I love to hear your thoughts 🙂 Feel free to leave your comments here or private messages can be sent via facebook

The Ultimate Gift

Life is how you live it…not how you spend it

One of the highlights of the Christmas season for me is indulging in Christmas movies! There’s something so comforting and peaceful about curling up with my family beside a lit Christmas tree or near the roaring fire of the wood stove, and allowing myself to be whisked away into a good story. This year didn’t leave much time for Christmas specials. Lucky for me, I had picked one up at Wal-Mart on one of my far-too-many excursions. This one was called The Ultimate Gift. You’d never guess it, but I’m a sucker for stories of miracles, love, and inspiration 😉

The Ultimate Gift has become my new all-time favorite Christmas movie. It is a heartwarming drama based on the novel The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. It is an inspirational story about a young man of privilege who, like many of us, takes his life for granted. He is rich, carefree, and careless. Living off a trust fund and having never worked a day in his life, Jason Stevens is spoiled and unmotivated with little regard for anyone or anything. When his Grandfather passes away, Jason inherits a series of gifts that promise to lead him to the ‘ultimate gift’.

Life shouldn’t be spent avoiding problems but welcoming them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future

Each gift is a task and is specifically designed to challenge Jason to grow as a man. It is through these tasks that Jason learns the Gift of Problems, the Gift of Work, the Gift of the Value of Money, the Gift of Friends,  the Gift of Family, the Gift of Laughter, the Gift of Giving, the Gift of Gratitude, the Gift of Dreams, the Gift of Love, and the Gift of a Day.

Any process worth going through will get tougher before it gets easier. That’s what makes learning a gift…even if pain is your teacher

Emily

For me the true gift in this story is the Gift of Emily. Emily is a young girl Jason meets on his quest for the ultimate gift. Emily is a spitfire of attitude with a heart of gold. Emily suffers from a rare form of leukemia and her only wish is for her Mother’s happiness. She quickly made her way into Jason’s heart … and mine as well.

I’m not sure if it was Emily’s story, or the heartache I felt for the families, the children, and the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, or perhaps more likely it was both…I’ve decided to write my second book, Letters From Heaven with love from your Child. My hope is that this book will in some small way provide even an ounce of healing to the hearts of parents who’ve suffered the tragedy of losing of a child, as Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo has for ‘children’ – both young and old – who are forced to live without the loving guidance of their Mother.

Come up with a dream and then act on it

Treat yourself to a gift that is sure to nourish your soul this season and find the time to accompany Jason on his quest for The Ultimate Gift ….Don’t forget the tissue!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Joyeux Noel, Season’s Greetings,  Happy Holidays!

Thank you for sharing in my love of writing this year 🙂

Embrace your Awesomeness!

Taking off the Blinders

It is said that when we reach a place of perfect understanding, we will be shown our life through a new lens; one that will shed light on our darker side in order to see the error of our ways and gain an even deeper understanding of ourselves and life itself. In other words, when you think you’ve got your world figured out, you have an epiphany of sorts that sucker punches you in the face and taunts “you haven’t got a clue!” ….. I think I’ve been sucker punched. I see my darker side.

I’ve genuinely done my best (at least most days) to be a good person. My motto is “As I live each day may I make a difference and touch one heart…each day it is my goal to bring smiles and laughter into a soul.” I do whatever I can to be mindful of other people’s feelings. I believe my gift is seeing the “awesome” in others when they can’t see it in themselves and I take pride in delivering that message to whomever needs it, whenever they need it. Beautiful, right?

The truth is, as much joy as I may have brought to peoples lives, I have caused as much or more pain. I hurt the ones I love deeply. I have unintentionally pushed away everyone I love in one way or another, at one time or another, and I have done it all my life. I have always meant well, and they love me all the same, but I realize I have been sloppy in  my relationships to others.

More times than not, I am so focused my own little world that I lose touch with everything else around me. I miss all the little details that matter. I don’t think about picking something up for someone else while I’m in town. I don’t think about stopping in to see people when I’m doing errands. I don’t think to call to see how an appointment went or to see if someone’s feeling better when they’ve been sick. I don’t think to offer to drive people around when they don’t have a car or lend a helping hand when it’s needed. I will always do my best to help out when asked but, chances are, common sense or not, on my own I won’t even think about helping out. My mind is always preoccupied with “Am I forgetting something?”, “OMG! We’re going to be late!”, “Where is that smell coming from?”, “Why do all the other Moms always look like they have it together?”, “Seriously, what is that smell?”, “I know I’m forgetting something!”, “What do you mean there are no underwear in your drawer?”, “OMG! We are late again!”

When a loved one calls, it’s always a welcome reprieve. However, it’s rare enough for them to receive a call from me ~ other than my Mom, who I will call in bouts of consistency, (if that even makes sense) and when I do, how often have I just asked how she’s doing? For me to call people, I always believe that surely they’ve got better things to do than have idle chat with me. Text messaging as far as I’m concerned, was a true gift to Mother’s everywhere, I can text someone a line or two and they will read and respond when they have a spare moment to do so. No pressure. No worries. We all live busy lives. I don’t ever feel like I’m inconveniencing someone when I shoot off a text. It hadn’t even dawned on me that aside from an occasional text, those who love us need to see our face and hear our voice once in a while to know that they matter.

Why couldn’t I have realized this before my Mama, and my Mother-In-Law passed away? They were two of the nicest people on earth and funny as hell. I loved them both to bits, but rarely visit for surely they would have better things to do than to entertain me!

When my friends need a boost, nothing fills my heart more than to be the provider of that boost. It’s my gift!! However, when I feel a sense of unbalance, I tend to go within. It feels right for me, it gives me time to find my own answers. As comfortable as I am with that tendency, those who I have provided with a boost or two, would love the chance to return the favor once in a while. I hadn’t realized that when I “go within” I put up an invisible wall around me. Sometimes I will “go within” for days, sometimes weeks, however long it takes, I’m usually for the most part MIA. Although carried out with the best of intentions, the fact remains…I’m MIA.

I have now realized it’s a  cycle that’s been there my whole life…

I help others recognize and embrace their inner awesome allowing them to let go of their own judgements. Once they feel awesome and unstoppable, I do too and I decide to take the steps I need to get my life in balance. I vow to get my home in some kind of working order. I realize the magnitude of my incompetence in that area and realize I will never “have it all together” like all the other Moms. I then go within. I recognize that I am my own person, my children love me just the way I am, my husband loves me in spite of it, and most days I’m very happy living my daily life by my own rules flying by the seat of my pants, it keeps everyone entertained. I embrace my awesomeness! And then the cycle repeats…

My friends and my family are the icing on my cake of life 🙂 We always have a blast together. And yet, it’s rare for me to share a normal-everyday-day with them because on a normal-everyday-day I am consumed with trying to make sense of the chaos of daily living, and in order to function, I need a good chunk of solitude every single day. What I have come to realize, is that in order to function as my best self, those who love me need to be a bigger part of that daily living, even if it is in the midst of complete chaos!

I am a good friend, wife, daughter, sister, mother….I am not great in any of those roles, (although I am a pretty good mom…..) there is plenty of room for improvement in each and every relationship.

Taking a look at your life through a different lens is sometimes hard, especially when that lens shows a darker side than you’re used to seeing. The gift is that when we take the time to see another face of the paradigm, we can make any necessary adjustments and learn to embrace our “shadow” as well as our light, for every face makes up the beautiful package that makes us who we are!

Embrace your awesomeness!

Friendships, Boundaries, and Jelly Beans

Friendships are one of life’s most beautiful gifts. Through our friendships, we share, we love, we learn, we grow.

Most of us are fortunate to be blessed with many forms of friendships in our lives. Some friends we see or talk to every day, others every few months, while others we may touch base with only every few years and can still pick up exactly where we left off.  Some frienships last a lifetime, others are fleeting. Each friendship is as unique as it is special.

I often refer to my friends as “the pink jelly beans of my life” because no matter what, they make me feel good… And seriously, pink jellybeans are the bomb! My friends and I support each other in achieving our goals, we listen with our hearts in moments of sorrow, we bask in the sheer joy of  just being together. We are our own cheerleaders,  sounding boards, and counsellors. We see each others brilliance and we act as reminders of that brilliance when one of us has forgotten.

Boundaries are necessary in all of our relationships. We teach others how to treat us. Our boundaries act as guides in this teaching. If you find your friendships begin to develop a pattern of hurt, forgive the person who hurt you, forgive yourself for allowing yourself to be hurt, and check your boundaries! We are all worthy of experiencing genuine friendships and we are all worthy of choosing to spend our time on and with those who fill us with a sense of comfort, peace, and joy.

Boundaries are a necessary part of friendships, sometimes those boundaries include a little distance for a little while in order to take a step back to gain a new perspective ♥

Whether a friendship is long term, short term, or fleeting, every person that comes into your life has crossed your path to teach you something valuable.

Contrary to the view from my rose coloured glasses, I don’t believe that we are all meant to be friends with everyone we meet.  I believe we are meant to love, learn from, grow with, recognize, and appreciate the true “pink jelly beans” in our lives.

Embrace the sheer awesomeness of each and every one of your friendships!

Embrace your awesomeness!

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