I’ve been lost in a circle of shame. Lost with untold stories. And my partner in crime is not here to release me. He died of cancer.
I tell others that there is no shame in a mess. That it is all usable by the Divine. To turn that mess over to God and watch the miracles multiply.
It seems I hold myself to another, less forgiving, measure.
I found the quote above in a Somerset Life magazine that was tucked into a care package of goodies intended to help me heal from flu/bronchitis complications after my breast surgery. Dropped off by an earth angel who had no way of knowing the key to freedom her gesture – and this quote – offered.
I was in agony. Not from the flu or bronchitis or even the breast cancer. They paled in comparison to the hurdle mounting within me. Read more
Here’s an idea to play around with. The next time someone or something upsets you, ask yourself, “Does this define me or refine me?”
Why? Because your answer determines how you move through the experience and the baggage you carry afterward.
Let’s see what Webster has to say about these two words.
Define: to determine the limits or nature of; describe exactly.
Hmmm. “Determine the limits” seems pretty limiting. And “describe exactly” is a crazy-making quest. I don’t know about you but my life – and upsets – defy any exacting description. This defining business is feeling a bit tense.
Refine: to free or become free of impurities. To make or become more polished.
To “become free” and “more polished.” All right. I’m exhaling here. This feels like something I can grab hold of when grappling with an upset.
How a Defining Moment Becomes a Refining Moment. Stop. Ask the question. “Does this define me or refine me?” Make a conscious decision. Then proceed in the direction of your answer.
When my ex husband left to explore a relationship with another woman – back in the days of Bernadette’s Pages – you could say his act defined our marriage (failed), himself as a man (untrustworthy), and me as a wife (not good enough).
Failed. Untrustworthy. Not Good Enough. Now there’s a tidy package that determined “the limits or nature of” what happened between us. Had I accepted this view as my definer I would have gotten stuck, acting out patterns of betrayal, anger, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame, remorse, confusion, mistrust, defensiveness … Read more
Be Flirty. (Take flight) Be Dirty. (Play in the dirt.) Be Loved. (From Heaven to Earth.)
Here’s a meSSy thought. What if you flirted with God? What if, instead of giving God your woe-is-me-where-is-he/she, you gave God a woo-is-You-love-me-through.
“There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Rumi
“There are infinite ways for God to caress and kiss our soul.” Me
Romance your life. Be YOU in love … anyway! Then it might be easier to recognize the lover who knows how to use romance for love’s sake. (And not manipulate for favors.) Embrace your sensuality … anyway. Romance the world … anyway. BE your sexy, delicious self … anyway. Make those Read more
When I was a little girl, I had a Raggedy Ann doll. She went everywhere with me. No doubt the fact that she went everywhere with me is why my Grandmother convinced me to let her take Raggedy Ann to the doll hospital so she could be made “good as new,” with the promise that Raggedy would return on my birthday.
I still remember opening the box with the big red bow, excited to be reunited with my friend, only to find a stranger looking back at me. This was not MY Raggedy! The adults in the room showed me her special Raggedy heart and assured me she was. (Hey, I was four but I wasn’t stupid.) I cried and cried and begged to have MY Raggedy back. My head was spinning. I was heartbroken.
I shared this story with a dear friend, recently, as the first memorable contribution to my sideswiped stories. The telling had just the right touch of drama, or so I thought, when I heard my friend take a deep breath on the other end of the Read more
“I have given everything I see in this room all the meaning that is has for me.” – A Course In Miracles: Lesson 2
Journal, April 17, 2012 • A fitting lesson to dowse in the Course, as I look around me. From room to room, I see boxes stacked wherever there is a spare space. Some holding 36 years of marriage. Some holding the last 18 years of reconciliation.
I give them the meaning that they have. The objects inside are clueless to the purpose assigned to them. On a good day, they speak to relief and gratitude for the honesty expressed that made it necessary to pack them up. On a bad day, they speak to surprises and sideswipes. If I am the meaning-maker, which meaning shall I embrace today?
Yesterday, I made my first serious “pass” through the divorce papers while my husband packed up his “pieces” of the kitchen that was our kitchen – soon to be my kitchen. I am somewhat in awe as this process of acceptance and forgiveness unfolds. And I am grateful that I am journaling through this – writing under fire as it were – and know that I am benefiting exponentially.
Exponentially? Really? How do I know?
We are always choosing stories, are we not? Well then …