Spirituality

Love is a choice

Lately I’ve had a lot of time to think and be with myself. I started reading a book that looks at how we define love in our culture and how we are living in a largely loveless society. Whether you were raised in a functional or dysfunctional home, with one or both parents, not dependent upon financial standing, race or religion so many of us question what the true meaning of love is and many of us have never experienced it. We have a better understanding of care and affection but love takes a different level of unconditional commitment. A kind of “no matter what” place of focus. My dears, we are definitely in search of it. I like the definition that is presented by M. Scott Peck in his classic book “The Road Less Traveled” in it he clearly defines love as “ the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” To go on he says, “Love is as love does. Love is an act of will-namely, both an intention and an action. Will implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” “I believe in order “to love someone completely, openly and honestly while expressing care, affection, responsibility, respect, commitment and trust” we must truly be ready to willing to openly focus on each of these values with our whole heart. For me love is not a noun but a verb.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, love is my lane. For me, giving and sharing the love that’s in my heart is akin to The Golden Rule. I have raised my boys by reminding them frequently that they may not like other people but you must always love others. Loving others is something that comes natural for me and the more I look around the more I believe love is needed in all of our interactions with one another for than ever! The pandemic and current long overdue social uprising is begging of us to love one another my dears. Like one of my favorite bands sang, “All you need is love”. Yes, we sure do❤

I was listening to another Beatles song today off “Rubber Soul” on my bike ride. “The Word” really made me think about love in a way that I hadn’t before. Here are the lyrics:

The Word

The Beatles

Say the word and you’ll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

In the beginning I misunderstood
But now I’ve got it, the word is good

Spread the word and you’ll be free
Spread the word and be like me
Spread the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

Every where I go I hear it said
In the good and bad books that I have read

Say the word and you’ll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

Now that I know what I feel must be right
I’m here to show everybody the light

Give the word a chance to say
That the word is just the way
It’s the word I’m thinking of
And the only word is love

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

Say the word love
Say the word love
Say the word love
Say the word love

What sparked all these thoughts about love? After taking part in the ‘Wounded Healer” interview last week and in the post before that one called, “Triumphing over Trauma” where I wrote about releasing shannon a deeper level, forgiving myself and it struck me. I’ve decided to destroy the mask I wore so often completely and forever, once and for all! You know the one we wear for society, for family gatherings at times, the one we put on so we feel “safe” and so others won’t judge us or ridicule us. Imagine if we all said NO to putting that damn mask on? Oh how much lighter I feel even writing that!

This past year I have been hyper focused on my healing from the inside out. I reclaimed practices, did a lot of deep inner soul work that required an extended amount of alone time and quiet contemplation, meditation and intentional detaching from things that were the root cause of my suffering. Today I woke up and decided in order to step forward and accept the Maria I am today, I must decide who I no longer am.

I have decided that in order to be vulnerable, honest and loving towards myself I have to keep strict boundaries with others. Listen closely to my intuition and protect my precious emotional energy at all costs. Say NO when I feel any of these things are being threatened and giving myself permission to allow for grace and gentleness from myself. For so many years I thought I had to kick me own ass in order to be successful and get things done. Now I know that I need to be still in order to hear what my next steps should be. I can move energy in and through my body in a much more gentle flowing way while pumping the brakes on the old balls to the wall mentality. All that did was exhaust and hurt me creating an inevitable burnout. Today, it’s clear, my choice is to love me!

By loving myself, I’m free to love others without resentment or expectations. Like the Beatles sing, “it’s so fine, like sunshine” and now I know that what I feel must be right, I’m here to show everybody the light.” The light that is within me. Once we can discover our light and allow it to shine from the inside out as God intended….OH BOY my dear readers, what a world we could all be enjoying together! I’m reminded of another song, “This little light of mine” that I’m sure most of you have either heard or sung growing up. I just love the playful energy that ignites within my soul and releases my true authentic spirit being reminded of this lesson😉

These three poems are focused on the ideas of love, gratitude and aliveness. I want to share them with you my dear readers. Allow these words to resonate deep within your own heart and then go out and love the heck out of everyone you meet!

“Let love shine in”
“Grateful aliveness”
“Growing pains”

Please check out my 3 books of poetry now available on Amazon at the links below 😊

Spirituality

Grace, humility and patience

I’d say these three values have been tested and strengthened the most over these past two and half months my dear readers. I’ve written here many times that I firmly believe that God brings us to everything He knows we can live through. Period. The less we resist the challenges life presents to us the easier it is to integrate these values into our character. Surrender. Release. Let go. This too has been a focused mantra of mine. Forgive me my dears, for I never want to portray any of this as being easy yet the concept is simple. With daily intentions and practice, we all have the ability to manifest a life beyond our wildest dreams! I am living proof of that my dear readers.

I have been thoroughly enjoying this holiday (in the U.S. we are celebrating Memorial Day) and because it’s been raining off and on ALL weekend, I have spent my time bingeing some Netflix documentaries and mini-series. The one that really grabbed my heart is called, “Unorthodox” about a young women’s life as she grows up in the Hasidic community and ultimately discovers that their world is not for her as she leaves to discover her own true path. The parallels I drew to my own life, healing and self discovery were quite evident in each of the four parts of this series. The main character, Esty, definitely had to learn to show herself some grace while being patient enough with herself to discover her place in this world. I believe the humility she already possesses as a young women in her ultra Orthodox Jewish faith helped her a lot as she forges through the many obstacles of leaving the only place she has ever lived and travels to Berlin, Germany. This is a true story written by a woman who actually did just that in hopes of uncovering her true authentic self. From the very beginning she even tells the man who is to become her husband by means of an arranged marriage that she isn’t like the other girls, she is different.

For those of you who have been reading my blog here, I too have expressed that I have always felt different from my peers. The black sheep of my family. Many of the scenes like the one of her bathing in the kosher bath as a way of purifying her body before her marriage resonated deeply with me. Her attempts at being reborn through becoming sub servant to her new husband in order to birth his children and repopulate the world with more Jewish people in order to make up for the millions lost in Holocaust is both selfless and remarkedly relatable because I believe we all experience some level of dysfunction in our lives. It’s meant to serve a purpose I believe in deciding what we ourselves believe in and are committed to carrying on with or what we decide isn’t part of our belief system and should be left aside. I don’t mean any disrespect to this community, that isn’t my intention with this post. My heart in many ways related to and broke for Esty because she was forced into many situations that were not her own choice. God has given all us free will and we come into this world as sovereign beings yet because of societal conditioning are thrust into certain circumstances and situations not of our own choosing. There in lies the dysfunction.

Coming to terms with own beliefs and forging a life we can truly be ourselves in is crucial to happiness. I myself have lived most of my adult life in an inauthentic way. Doing things to make others happy in hopes of gaining acceptance and love no matter if I was hurting myself in the process. After Esty makes friends with a group of musicians and is finally feeling accepted, one of them tells her some truths that were both necessary yet hard for her to swallow. Again, such is life. Are you my dear readers telling people things just to appease them, be accepted or make them feel happy yet not exposing them to the real truth of a situation in order to spare their feelings? Wow. That one hit close to home. I have often been the bearer of bad news so to speak because I am honest to a fault at times and don’t always sugarcoat my words. I have also been on the receiving end of such harshness and now reflecting back upon those situations, I’m thankful for them. Definitely a shift to how I viewed those situations at the time but isn’t that also another beautiful part of life? The mystery and discovery of what certain things are meant to teach us over our time here on Earth. Our opinions and judgements, perspectives and perceptions can completely shift. I believe just as life itself is, all things are relative and cyclical.

In that part of the story, even though she felt sad she ended up changing her entire approach for her audition in Hope’s of obtaining a scholarship she was yearning to get to a prestigious music academy. That is the very essence of all of life’s choices my dear readers. We can learn from these setbacks, shift and go in a conpletely different direction or we can take on a victim mentality and allow whatever hardship to destroy us, quit which in the long run turns into a resentment. Allowing others to cast judgements that we then use to disempower ourselves is a hard reality to face down the road. Believe me, I have lived through many situations and circumstances that I don’t regret now but at the time wished I had handled differently.

Everything that has happened thus far is truly a blessing and being able to admit that fully is real growth. By living with a false sense of reality, we only hurt ourselves. Up until this part in the story, Esty has faced so much rejection. Mostly within herself yet she keeps courageously plugging along trying to make her dreams come true. When her hopes seem lost, she calls her Grandma, her bubby and the woman who raised her and because the fear of being cast out by the community is too great, her bubby hangs up the phone on her. Again, Esty must decide if that setback will crush her and force her back to the only home she has ever known. Ultimately we are shown that she has the bravery it takes to keep going despite it all. Even when all the chips are down, she finds the strength to keep believing in herself. She wants a better future for herself and her unborn child. That part really struck a chord with me as a mother and somebody that has felt like a failure for so long.

This year has been one of complete transformation and rebirth for me on all levels. As a mother, partner, daughter, sister, friend and most importantly as a woman. Rediscovering myself and remembering what my purpose here in life is has been the most beautiful, painful, tedious and challenging experience of my life thus far. I’m grateful to have discovered what I call my soul language and my true authentic voice. I wrote this poem as a way of expressing that.

I have also started my apprenticeship to become a shamanic healer and in doing so I had some “homework” to commit to doing. I did a lot of sitting with myself, talking openly to God and spirit. Communicating with the spirit animals that resonate with me, learning about tree spirits…..stuff like that. I know many of you probably think as my partner does that that’s totally weird and a foreign feeling activity for you personally. It’s all part of my own journey however and I fully embrace it! God has brought me here to a place of learning more about why I have these extra sensory perceptions and gifts. My path is truly my own and in discovering more about myself I have been given this message. The following poem sums everything up quite well. This is where I find myself and I am eternally grateful to be awake, alive and present for the present that God has given me! Peace, love and light my dear readers….love yourself and one another.

Please check out my 2 books of poetry available now on Amazon at the links below.

Spirituality

Back in the swing of routine

Getting back on the horse after a wonderfully restful 4 days off while my son was here. The 1st day back always gives me trouble yet I’m determined to keep pushing myself forward.

Getting back on that horse

Started working on a new post incorporating this new poem about letting go. I entitled it “Control” and is still another opportunity to recognize my recovering from perfectionism. The Universe will gives you lessons over and over again until you learn from them. This lesson has been a hard learned one for me because for so long on the inside, I kept a white knuckle grip on life while maintaining an Oscar worthy performance smile on my face! Ultimately, I was only kidding and hurting myself.

I love this picture so I borrowed it from a friend of mine’s Instagram page….

Choose wisely

Everyday is another opportunity to continue this work in progress which is the journey to self😊