Thursday, August 08, 2013

Gracefully surrendering...

...the things of youth...oh what a trip this has been!...like a 3D game of snakes and ladders as my path winds around this mountain of my life.  Sometimes taking a leap forward, sometimes sliding back.  All of it has been so perfect!  The beauty of hindsight is that I can see how some of the worst times shaped me to have enormous growth.

One of the things that has helped shape me is 'Desiderata' (I've put a copy below).  My sister was given a poster of that when she was an early teenager.  I am four years younger than her and we shared a bedroom.  She had the poster on the wardrobe door and I read it many, many times.  Every day I would add a new sentence to what I had already memorized and I would say it over in my mind during the long walk to and from the school bus.  When she moved out, I got my own copy which has traveled with me in all of my moves around Australia and the world.  It's still relevant.  I find myself pondering the line: "Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth." 

In that spirit, I claim:

Love
Peace
Joy
Personal Power
Acceptance
Self-worth

as some of my most valued lessons, deeply learned and integrated.  I claim them from all of the challenges and bruises and highlights that it took to earn them during my youth.  I now own them and they will not be surrendered.  Only all of the fears and insecurities and confusion will be released.  They may just look like words, but they mean much more than that to me.  Who knew?  Growing older can come with such a beautiful Peace.  Growing into one's true self.  Not needing to prove anything to anyone.  Not needing to feel guilty.  My body may not look and act like it did years ago, but the trade for inner Peace is definitely worth it to me.

So grateful for every single breath and step along this path!


DESIDERATA
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Being Love...

I haven't been very chatty lately. From the time I was young...11 maybe...I used to write in a journal / diary almost every day. I would write about anything and everything. All of the things that I found hard to say with my voice, would flow through my fingers. I always felt as though I could communicate much more easily with my hands.

I kept journals up until shortly after Sam was born when I didn't really have the time for them, and the need for them slowly drifted away. I found that I needed to find my voice, to be able to speak up for my children when they were too young to be able to speak for themselves, or to explain things to and for them. I was lucky to have a few really good friends along the way and I found connection that I had never had before with female friends. I had had female friends before, but not of that depth. The constant force in my life is that things change. People move, or their situation changes or I move or something within me changes.

As my children get older, they rarely need me to be their voice. I remind myself regularly, to step back, and be quiet. Other people in my life are changing, as am I. I don't feel the need to talk about it, or analyse it. I am just feeling my way through it.

I tend to simplify things...the way I live, the way I speak, and the way I just Am. My guide is Love.

I had a friend when I was aged 10-11 named Julie. She was rather confident which was one of the things that I admired about her. Someone accused her of being vain one day and she replied “well, if I don't love myself, how can anyone else?”! Wow! What an attitude! Shortly after, we both went to different schools and lost touch (so typical in my life...the constant change in friendships....but every one has brought something special). I thought about her comment often over the years and then heard other “experts” say it in their own way. How true though. I wonder where Julie is now, and how that attitude guided her life.

With Love as my guide, I find that I don't hold onto the past. I use the experiences from the past to better understand what is happening, but I can look at those things like an observer, without attachment. I don't want to talk about how I'm doing life, I just want to BE.

I feel a deeper sense of Peace...there is nothing I have to do or have. The things that I do, I do because I want to. I actually feel like I am getting more done though which is really amusing to me.  I've been very productive within the home and pursuing my own interests as well.

I take responsibility for my actions and allow others to do the same. The freedom that comes in not taking anything personally is enormous!   

Having Love guide me may seem too simple to some, but it suits me.  I don't need a list of do's and dont's, just "is Love present within me now?".  Most of the time I don't need to ask the question, but sometimes, I start to feel off-track.  If I am not feeling it, asking the question helps me on the path back.  Sometimes I need to take care of my physical body - food, water, movement, rest, sunshine.  Sometimes I just need a little space and quiet and I know that it is important to take that.

Sometimes I ask "how can I show more Love now?", which just opens a door to make that happen.  

This life can be so crazy and complicated, but I can move through it with inner calm...the Love that brings Peace that brings Joy.   So grateful!



You know what's really quite funny?  I used to think that I had to DO something to make this life special, to make my 'mark', to be noticed, to make it all worthwhile.  
I don't.  I just need to BE.

I used to compare myself with others and so often thought that I just wasn't good enough, I could never be as good as them, and that I could never be "enough".   It is truly amazing just how many people feel that too.  It's just not right.  We all have unique gifts.