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self-love

harmony in the face of disharmony

How easy is it for you to express yourself in the face of someone reacting? To bring up a difficult subject even knowing it might create separation instead of connection? Do you care? Do you speak anyway? Do you withhold, praying ‘if I ignore it, it will go away’?

One of my fears is I will hold back and not speak my truth, to appear to be agreeable, in order to ‘maintain the peace’ and avoid conflict. If I am withholding to maintain peace, then that means I am seeking the guise of harmony through disharmony within myself…not true harmony…nor is it being honest. If I speak my truth, even when it is difficult and I express myself as consciously as I can, it is possible the other person might still react in a disharmonious way based on their perception.

I understand I am not responsible for their reaction, but somewhere along the way I got it wired that I will pay for speaking my truth. That I will be treated poorly. That I will be shut out…abandoned. That I will somehow be punished…persecuted…you get the picture. All that mind frick is from the past. Not the present.

The truth in this present moment is that when I am honest, even fearing the worst, I feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself I am feeling harmonious. Sure that’s not to say that fear doesn’t come up, or that my heart isn’t pounding in the face of that fear. What it means is I do it despite my fear. I create harmony within myself by living up to my commitments and being in my integrity.

Feeling the reward of that, I recognize it is worth taking the chance. Even so, speaking up will sometimes create discord at first. Rest assured, the discord won’t last forever and I know I will be respected for it long after, beginning now with self-respect. So, I take the chance, put the ghosts to rest, speak my truth and live in harmony within myself.

What about you? Are you willing to take the chance to be authentic and live in harmony within yourself?

the moment of truth

That’s the name of a game show on FOX in yesterday’s headlines. First, in case you’re like me and don’t watch much tv, the premise is a person is asked a bunch of personal questions while attached to a polygraph machine prior to the show. Then, in front of an audience, they are asked a question, the suspense mounts as they ‘ponder’ the answer…they finally give it, then another long drawn out suspense-filled pause, and then a voice from above announces whether they are telling the truth and then they get a cash reward. The point is for them to answer these questions in front of their loved ones with the questions getting harder and harder as the stakes go up. And this week, one family found out how far those stakes went.

I didn’t see that show, but there are plenty of places to read about it on the net. I did watch a couple of minutes of it the first week it came out though. At that time I remember asking myself the question, do I tell the truth in my life? What would others not know about me? Are there any skeletons in the closet? How honest am I with myself? What about you, are you completely honest with everyone about everything in your life? Are you honest with yourself? Chances are probably not.

For most of us, honesty is a strong value we strive to live by…and it’s one of the most challenging. Have you ever been asked “how are you?” and it was just easier to say ‘ok’, ‘pretty good’, ‘not bad’, when in fact last night you and your partner got into a huge fight and you hardly slept and are feeling anxious. That’s one way we don’t tell the truth. Or maybe it is just easier to hide those CDs you bought or not tell your partner you’re hanging out with friends after work.

Give yourself the challenge of being completely honest for a day. That means being completely honest with yourself too. How do you feel? What is your body telling you? Are you feeling sad, happy, disappointed, fed up, frustrated and not telling the truth? Are you stuffing any of those emotions and not being honest with yourself in any way. Are you being dishonest by remaining in a relationship that is not working….and worse yet, for the sake of the kids?

There are many areas of our life where we don’t tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help us. It’s important to be honest with the one’s we choose to be in relationship with and by that I also mean with ourselves. We say no when it is in our best interest. We ask for our 100%. We listen to ourselves and if we don’t feel like doing something we convey that. We listen and we act from a compassionate and loving space for ourselves first. Then acting from a place of compassion automatically happens with others. We can’t receive what we are not willing to give ourselves and accept about ourselves first.

It’s unfortunate what happened with that family from the show, but it is a good lesson for all of us in our lives. So, let’s not be quick to judge someone else’s lie. I believe we would all be a lot happier if we simply made choices that were in alignment with what was going on inside ourselves. If we simply were able to accept and embrace our own Truth and live from that place called integrity without compromising it for anyone or anything.

And wouldn’t it be wonderful to inspire others, through our actions, to also live in their Truth!

for love’s sake

How many times do we do things for love? for a cry for love?

I read once that love was a choice. I didn’t quite understand that at first, but as the years have gone on and I have meditated and contemplated love, I have come to understand what that means to me. One meaning is, I can either choose to feel love and open my heart or I can choose to guard my heart and feel fear. Both are valid emotions on the journey, both filled with gifts if we are willing to see them.

This day being the “official” day of love, brings these questions and contemplation to my mind. I know in my life when I have been motivated by my heart and when I have been motivated by my fear. The actions can be quite different, yet the desire the same…to have more love in my life. I believe at the core we all just want to belong, somewhere, somehow with a person or a group of people. We want to know that we are not alone and that we are cared about.

The problem, as I see it, with love is until we fully love and accept ourselves, it is difficult to receive love from another. We will continue to walk around feeling unloved and alone, even if we have many people in our lives. If we do not love and accept ourselves—all of ourselves, especially what we judge as negative or bad emotions—how do we expect to feel love from another? I believe all of who/what we are needs love.

One of the most profound experiences I have had on my path was at a time when I was filled with self-loathing and self-hate. I would even wake from dreams of self-deprecation. I judged myself mercilessly, including the feeling that it was so un-spiritual to hate myself. Then one night it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, my hate wanted to be loved too. So I sat down with it across from me, it in it’s dark, heavy thickness and me unsure of where this was going.

I saw it and I opened my heart and I sent it love. I enveloped it in loving, divine light with no attachment. I didn’t judge it. I didn’t expect anything from it. I loved it. I listened and I learned. I learned more in that time about acceptance than at any other time in my life. I have to honestly say, from that day forward I do not feel self-hate the same way. I made peace with myself and built a bridge within.

On this day and every day, I wish the same for you…
May you build bridges of love within, so you may experience bridges of love with others!