Raise Your Self…Forgive Yourself

Awakened by Abby scratching on the bed, my frustration grew when Tom bent over to try to entice her to jump up and he took all the covers with him.  I pulled the covers strongly back over me and hoped I’d be able to go back to sleep

I regurgitated past frustrations about Abby’s lack of training, reliving my unrealistic expectations for a change.

Only awake for barely one minute, I felt frustration, irritation and disappointment over having no control over what Abby and Tom did.  Yes, I am a control freak.

This start could have left me with the feeling of the bad start to a new day — Easter Sunday, no less.  Instead, I re-learned a lesson in forgiveness.

The Lesson 

While you may think I’d forgiven Abby for her scratching and Tom for pulling off the covers and solidifying my awakening, the lesson that popped into my head was to forgive myself for making judgments and not accepting what is.  I judged these events based on my unrealistic expectations.

The truth is, I really had no control over any of this.  My lack of control re-ignited past fears of having no control, and the negative emotions and judgments I felt.  These resurfaced immediately.

I realized I had to forgive MYSELF.  For what?  For allowing my old fears, frustrations, anger and judgments into my present moment and for not accepting what was.  That’s not to say I won’t continue to try to train Abby not to scratch on the furniture.  Yet is it realistic to think you can train a 13-year-old cat not to scratch?  It’s really part of her nature.

Choosing Differently

My decades long studies of A Course in Miracles and more recently A Course of Love made me aware in the present moment, fully aware of what was happening and my response to it.  I could have yelled at Abby and been angry at Tom.  I could have held onto the past perceptions on having no control I had dredged up in my mind and carried those negative feelings into my day.

Instead, I chose to forgive myself for making those judgments and not accepting what was.  Being frustrated, irritated or angry wasn’t going to change what was.

My lessons – forgive myself, accept what is right now in the present moment and let go of the past.

Being a control freak my entire life is not an easy habit to overcome in an instant.  Yet that’s exactly what happened in that moment.  I let go of my perception of control, my past misperceptions and the negativity that followed both.

How appropriate this happened Easter morning!  This simple event made me aware of my true Self, my higher Self, the Christ in me. I know the Spirit of Christ dwells within each and every one of us.  Forgive yourself, respond with Love and share your Spirit!

How blessed I am, as we all are!!

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Enjoy the gift of spring

Being in the Moment     The snow’s melted, mud’s (relatively) dried, temps are warm (45 degrees this morning!) and daylight comes earlier…all factors that led me to come out from hibernation and go for my first bike ride in spring 2021.

I only went a little over 6 miles but that’s good enough to begin the conditioning needed before I tackle a ride to Jim Thorpe, Glen Onoko or beyond.

Buds push through the tops of the trees, the feel and smell of fresh, crisp air and the sounds of the gushing river and birds singing loudly reward me for giving myself the time to enjoy the early-spring morning.

Enjoying the gifts of spring will be short-lived as the days slip by so quickly.  Best use of this gift is to fully be aware of all the sights, sounds and smells occurring in the present moment as those moments create our lives.

How will you enjoy your gift of spring?

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Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…

Spring Rafting“Signs,” an iconic song released in 1970 by The Five Man Electrical Band, highlighted some of the hypocrisies and intrusions signs may put on both our landscapes and perceptions.

Like so many other things, signs with words can convey a positive or negative message depending on the reader.

Perceptions of nature’s signs of spring also may vary.  While many rejoice in the rebirth of dormant life after a snowy winter season, others dread the pollen and allergies that come with that rebirth.

Spring FlowersYet the signs of spring permeate the sights in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, as early enthusiasts rafted down the Lehigh River yesterday.  Sixty degrees is warm, but I’d rather wait for warmer water temps!

On Chestnut Hill, white snowdrops and what I believe are yellow buttercup aconites push through the surface of the ground and brighten the drab winter leaf remnants.

I personally love ALL the signs of spring, enjoying the warmer temps, the longer daylight and watching the awakening of life.

What’s your favorite sign of spring?

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Wouldn’t it be nice?

Wouldn’t it be nice if…

…we could enjoy what brings a smile to our hearts everyday?

…we could hear what others really mean between the words of what they actually say?

…we accepted others (especially our significant others) for who they are instead of who we want or expect them to be?

…we could be content with what we have instead of thinking we need something more or different?

…we could pursue our forgotten dreams?

…we loved and accepted ourselves, despite our perceived imperfections?

…we loved our neighbors as ourselves?

…we could anonymously share a random act of kindness with another every day?

…we could share our unique spiritual gifts without hesitation?

…we could be part of creating a world where truth instead of illusions reigned?

…we could selflessly fulfill another’s need?

…we could express our love unconditionally?

…we could accept the gifts given gratefully?

…we could let go of the past and enjoy the present?

…we could let go of the habit of judging others?

…we could enjoy the beauty of each new day?

…we could share our understandings without fear of judgment, embarrassment, retribution or shame?

…we could be our authentic Selves?

…we could fearlessly question that which we don’t understand or believe?

…we could unearth our deeply suppressed values and live them?

Believe it or not, each one of these niceties IS possible for those who choose to make them so.

What do you think would be nice if…?

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What makes you purr?

Sunrise on the HillWhat makes you purr?

It’s easy to know when Ms. Abby (my pet cat) is happy.  She purrs consistently and loudly.  When you pet her, you can feel the vibration of her contentment through her purring.

This winter picture of a neighbor’s home at sunrise demonstrates one example of what brings me joy. Starting a new day seeing the beauty of the world around me puts a smile on my face and creates a positive outlook for moving forward into the rest of the day.

For me, seeing nature’s beauty, capturing its essence and sharing it with others makes me ‘purr.’

What makes you purr?  Please share.

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Excitement’s Building

Spring’s right around the corner…I have to be patient.

Excitement’s building as I look into buying a new kayak at the Lehighton Outdoor Center.  Once the lake thaws, my morning outing with the new kayak will bring me a sense of calm and peace I haven’t felt in months.

What are you excited about?

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It’s all perfect

    Mid-February always seems to be ‘cabin fever’ time for people in northeastern Pennsylvania.

It’s the perfect time for skiers and those who snow shoe, but for others, dealing with being indoors, shoveling and enduring the cold become drudgery.

Looking at the scenery earlier this week as I rode home from laser surgery on my eye, I noticed yellow hues outlined branches of the weeping willow trees.  While few people probably see this or other signs of spring in the midst of snowstorm after snowstorm, the hues of spring subtly emerge from their winter slumber when seasonal conditions allow.  Reds and yellows turn into greens and pinks, all in perfect timing.

Try as we might, it’s impossible to force spring to come before the time is right.  We need to accept what is and be patient.  Everything will happen in its perfect time although it may not be OUR perception of the perfect time.

Imagine how much less stress we’d have if we took nature’s lesson, accepted (and enjoyed) what is and allowed things to happen in their perfect time instead of the timing we think is perfect.

 

 

 

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Home is Where the Heart Is

      What do you consider home?

Abby’s background as a stray with no home seems to make her appreciative and happy to have a full belly and be comfortable, safe and loved.

Is home a place or a state of being?

For those without a physical building or place to stay, home is not a place.  For those with abusive parents, spouses or relatives, home is not a place.  For many home becomes a state of being…being safe…being comfortable…being loved…being relaxed and at peace.

I believe home is where your heart is.

Where is your heart?

 

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Accepting Certainty of Uncertainty

     The 1960’s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island popped into my head today as I’m reading an article in the Jan/Feb edition of The Holy Encounter, a bi-monthly publication put out by the Miracle Distribution Center.

The fictional crew and passengers faced uncertainty after being shipwrecked on an uncharted island.  They used their knowledge and creativity to survive in a different world.  They had to deal with the certainty of uncertainty day in and day out as they created a new life based on their evolving circumstances.

That’s where we all reside today, in 2021, facing the uncertainty, upheaval, repercussions and chaos created by a world-wide, evolving pandemic.  Like the cast shipwrecked on the SS Minnow, we can’t go back to what we considered ‘normal.’  We, too, must use our knowledge, resources and creativity to navigate, survive and thrive in this ‘new’ world.  We, too, must put our differences aside and join with our brothers and sisters to live day by day in a different world.  We, too, must re-prioritize what’s important and work together to create an evolving balance in an everchanging world.

We, too, must accept the certainty of uncertainty and learn to use our instincts, faith and innate abilities to adapt and be able today to create the joy and peace we once may have taken for granted and considered normal despite the chaos around us.  If we don’t find that joy and peace, we’ll only add fuel to the fires of the chaos.

How do we do that?  Decide what brings you joy and peace.  Make time for that in your life each day, even if it’s only 10, 5 or 2 minutes.  Put your fears aside and live in the present moment, accepting that moment and the certainty of uncertainty.

For me, not watching the news incessantly, looking out my window facing the D&L trail, seeing wildlife, taking pictures, writing and journaling all bring moments of joy and peace into my life.  How about you?  Pay it forward and share with others how you deal with uncertainty and what you do to bring joy and peace into your daily life.

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Transformation

Transformation Lives

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