Live and Let Live

livenletlive

“You gotta live and let live.” ~ My Granddaddy

My Mom told me this quote today that her Daddy used to say.  He owned a general store in a small college town in South Carolina when she was growing up.  Many times he came home with something other than money for the items he sold at the store.  Her mama would get a few chickens instead of money to feed 9 children, but she always made due.  She never argued with him because he lived by his philosophy above and she was able to get eggs and eventually a chicken dinner out of the payment rendered.

I think it’s a good reminder to us all.  Not just in the bartering sense of business, but in life as well.  We cannot control others with whom we have a relationship.  When one person decides to change their way of life, we have to roll with what is happening.  That’s not to say be a doormat or allow any abuse.  But what it means is that you cannot hold someone else back from what they want in their lives.

And that is not easy to do sometimes.  It is a progression.  It is a moment by moment respectful decision to allow another person the freedom to live their own life as they choose for we cannot choose it for them.  We need to concentrate on our own lives and live the best we can with what we have.  Be truthful, be fair, be kind, be respectful but the ultimate decision is only for us to decide in our own lives and not in someone else’s life no matter the relationship.

Time and time again, I have had to learn this lesson of releasing and allowing even when I thought that the person was making a mistake.  To be fair, I have had to love others from afar, be there for them when needed, but not interfere unless I thought it was a life threatening situation.  We are all our own life keepers and we are responsible for our own decisions, actions and words.  We are responsible for our own relationships as well.  Yes, I am ‘my brother’s keeper’ but I am also my own life keeper.

As parents, we are responsible for our children.  As time goes on, we may also become responsible for our parents which can be tricky.  I’ve learned there’s never a good time for change and that life is all about changes, twists and turns in our journey towards death.  We can only be the best person we can be at any given moment and hold fast to our own faith, hope, love and in turn, give out what we give ourselves.  Nurturing myself and others with kindness and respect for their decisions is the only way I know how to survive and it is a daily choice for me to continue as I am.

I’m just me and it doesn’t serve me to lash out in anger and resentment for life choices that are not my own.  So I continue treading on my peaceful path, knowing that this is a growth period for us all.  That I must ‘live and let live’ so that I can find the love and happiness I deserve and allow others to do the same.

Perhaps you have had similar experiences in your life.  Please share what has worked for you in case it is helpful to me or anyone else in this situation.  We are all connected.  We help each other grow and learn and see life as a journey filled with love and light.  I send you blessings and love today and always.

Shine On!

xo

Untie the Pink Ribbons

ribbon

“Life is a gift.

We just have to remember

to untie the ribbons.”
 – Unknown

 

I was diagnosed on New Year’s Eve of 2001 with breast cancer.  I heralded in 2002 with trepidation, stark fear and a sickening feeling in my stomach as I faced the unknown future.  Due to that diagnosis, I have survived more than 10 surgeries with one more in the future.  I have endured 6 months of chemotherapy, 6 weeks of daily radiation, countless tests and visits to specialists, excruciating pain, sleepless nights, days when my brain just didn’t seem to work, losing my hair, my breasts, my confidence and my life as I knew it.  I have residual problems, testing every 6 months due to complications and I’m never quite far away from that original diagnosis although to meet me you may never know what I’ve endured.

But I’m still here, untying the gift of today…everyday.

It’s a choice my friends.  No matter what you are facing and believe me, I’ve faced so much in my life and not just cancer, it’s a choice to greet the dawn with enthusiasm, patience, love and kindness in your heart.  It’s a choice to think, “Oh God, it’s morning” and groan or to say it with enthusiasm for the gift of today that is yours.  After any illness, tragedy, or hard times, there’s a transitional period to find your new normal.  It will go a lot easier and faster for you if you lean into the idea that change is inevitable and it can be good.

Don’t mistake me, I can still get plenty mad about having breast cancer.  I can stomp my feet with the rest of the marchers and be angry that parts of my life have been taken from me.  I can look at my scarred body with hatred for what has occurred.  However, I choose to look at it with love for having endured so much pain and still be able to house my soul, my heart and my mind.  Sure, there are days when I lament the loss of my figure as it was before cancer and sure, I look at the scars and see the pain, the heartache and feel that I am not  beautiful.

But…I can also look and see how my body has healed herself with my help.  I see how my mind, body and spirit have connected, joined forces, so that the superficiality of life has fallen gently by the wayside and I am freed from conventionality.  I hold dear the knowledge that I find beauty in another soul’s eyes and spirit and pray that there are others out there who feel the same way.

We hold the power to untie those pink ribbons and find beauty, love, light and health in our own lives.  The diagnosis and subsequent treatments hold a turning point in my life.  I cannot say that I am happy I had this illness.  But I will say that I have grown in my own strength, love and health because of it.  I am a different person because I have endured so much and I am grateful for what I have learned about myself.  I found inner strength that I never knew I possessed.  I embrace my spirituality more tenderly than before and I hope that if you are on this journey of breast cancer, that you find peace, love, health and light within you to guide you as we find ourselves on this journey of light.

Shine On!

xo

It Is What It Is

 

tolle11

“What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to something that already is?” ~ Eckhart Tolle

The above came in my email this morning and I felt that it needed to be shared.  Too many times, we resist change whether it be something small like dinner plans or something big like illness, bankruptcy, death or the end of a relationship.  We turn our heads without facing the truth of the matter.  We turn away from what’s right in front of us, pleading that it goes away and leaves us alone.  We beg for things to stay the same or to change the way we wish, but not necessarily where it’s headed.  Some may try to make deals with God or others in order to not have to change.  They fight it, refusing to see, burying heads in the proverbial sand and not accepting what is.

I dislike the quote, “it is what it is” for it leaves me feeling bitter.  I don’t know, why but it does.  It’s like there’s nothing left.  There’s a lack.  There are no choices, it just is and that’s what gets me every time.  Because I see that there are choices ~ choices in how we view and deal with changes and events that we didn’t choose.

Lately I’ve been through some tough changes.  At first I thought I’d try to fight the changes with the bravery of a hellcat.  Then I released the resistance to the changes.   It doesn’t serve me to be angry, resentful nor unforgiving.  However, it serves me to treat others with kindness, love and patience.  I know not where this change will lead me, but I am choosing how I deal with it in my life.

We all have choices.

Our life is our responsibility.

We can choose how we change.

I’m not saying that I haven’t been angry for the changes that have been thrust into my life.  I am not a Pollyanna either.  But after great pondering and soul searching, I choose different words to see how the changes will affect me.  I consistently rebuff the words lack and losing and choose opening up and freedom.  I have gone deep within my mind, soul and heart to change how I am dealing with this change and I hope that I can be a role model in how I’m dealing with all that’s occurring.

For we need to find peace, happiness and love in our hearts in order to stay healthy.  Forgive but perhaps not forget as we move along this path of life.  The quote, “change is inevitable” is another one which I dislike, only because I feel that heaviness inside when someone uses that phrase.  Instead, I feel that change is the opportunity to grow, to think outside the plans we had for our lives and to move forward in a way that was unseen before now.  It is a freedom of sorts I think.  It takes away limits that we had previously held onto and allows choices that we had forgotten about to emerge.

It’s not easy sailing into unknown waters in life.  Of that, I’m certain.  There are storms and upheavals but there is also smooth sailing on clear days.  Sometimes the wind takes us to places that we never knew existed and if we hadn’t endured the painful changes, we might never be where we end up.  So my advice to you is to ‘go with the flow’ and allow the Universe to guide your loving, forgiving heart.  Allow others to be themselves and accept changes so that you can change too.

Be kind to yourselves every day.

Shine On!

xo

I’ve met some soul mates…

soulmate

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life… A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

I liked this and I am including the quote in its entirety for I hope that it will resonate for you as well.  I want to HEARTily thank my soul mates (you know who you are ~ at least I hope you do) for changing my life for the better.  For showing me the path I resist and for taking my hand when I fall down.

I am blessed to have the gift of a few soul mates who change my life simply by being themselves.  I am truly grateful for all of you.

Shine On!

xo

Feeling Defeated?

defeated

“Being defeated is often temporary,

giving up makes it permanent.”

- Marilyn von Savant

I have had many challenges in my life as have we all.  Few of us here on Earth have remained unscathed by disappointments and moments of feeling defeated in one way or another.  So it comes as no surprise that we need to find a way through the sadness and often raw painful feelings of defeat.  Sometimes, try as we might to not quit, situations are out of our control and we are powerless to stop the journey.  It is then, at that precise moment, when we need to decide our fate.  It is in our hands, this is our life and we ultimately remain in control.  It remains our choice in how we deal with whatever ‘it’ is in our lives that is not working as we wish.

But to give up, to quit, to not work at what ‘it’ is to improve the situation, that makes it permanent.  I am not a quitter.  No matter what life has thrown at me, I have gotten up and gone on, many times taking baby steps in the process for I had no other way.  But it is innate in me ~ to see the sunshine through the rain and to look for the rainbow through the clouds.  I know not where my strength comes from, but it is within me ~ as real as my eyes are blue.  I cannot be anyone but me and you cannot be anyone but you.

Sure we can change when ‘it’ arrives whether stealthily on little cat feet or as thunderously striking lightning.  It is a choice to fall to pieces and pick them up or to remain broken permanently in defeat.  What I have learned is this is YOUR LIFE to choose as you wish and you must continue to change and evolve as life goes on.  We grow through our defeats, we gain perspective, strength and peace by enduring ‘it’ and I believe that is the journey of life.

Continuing on with peace, love and happiness in our hearts not only heals ourselves, but others as well.  It does not serve us to remain angry and resentful when we endure ‘it’ and remain defeated.  It locks up the heart and soul which simply want to shine.  I know it is hard when we feel defeated.  Many times, through breast cancer, through relationships and through disappointments and family troubles, I have know defeat.  But I know that this too shall pass.  Life will go on and I plan on being there every baby step of the way.

So if you are feeling defeated, take a moment to assess ‘it’ and find the gift in the defeat.  Growth, strength and love come from ‘it’ and you will find that what you endure now will give you gifts you couldn’t possibly imagine in the future.  Let’s connect, hearts and hands as we baby step on this path ~ hold each other up with respectful kindness and loving hearts.

Love is an ability that needs practice.  Self-love is the key and you hold that special key right now.  Isn’t it time to unlock your heart and soul and live again?

Shine On!

xo

Who’s Writing Your Life Story?

pen

“When writing the story of your life,

don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” ~ Unknown

You are the author of your own life story.  It is YOU who holds the pen and the key and the power of choice.  For all of those who feel helpless (and I’ve been there) and unable to move forward to do what you want, to get what you deserve and to find peace and happiness in your life ~ now’s your chance to take back your power of the pen in your own life.

When I say, ‘take back your power,’ I am not meaning it in a bad way or a way in which you hurt others around you.  Oh no, far from that.  What I mean is that you take back the power of making your own good choices,  owning your inner strength, doing/being what increases your happiness, facing your responsibility to yourself and to others for whom you are responsible and for simply, lovingly picking up the pen to write your own life story.

You are not a prisoner in this life, but you can very well be your own jailer.

Too often we allow others the power in our lives; we let them make the decisions for how we will live.  Sometimes it’s out of fear or laziness, but carelessly tossing the power of living your life to the best of your ability is a mistake.  However, it is a mistake for which there’s an eraser that can change what happens from this moment forward.  You must be courageous though, you may not act with fear in your heart.  Instead be fearless, be loving, be kind, walk with truth, honesty and integrity.  See your world spherically and not linearly.  Look around at all you can be grateful for and then bless those gifts.  You have the presents of presence today and always.  Now let’s plan a life that you enjoy living.

What makes you happy?  What makes you sad?  What do you wish you could do?  What are your dreams?  What do you not want in your life?  What do you want more of and less of in your amazing life?  These are questions that take time to answer and you need to allow that time to let those questions sink into your mind and body.  Let them settle in a bit and find peace before answering.  Then allow your pen to write the answers down without questioning, without monitoring, without judging.  Let a free flowing pen ink your dreams and desires.  Whatever you see and want, you can achieve if you believe.

So believe that this is your special life.  Don’t throw your power away!  Use it, pick up your pen and write your best life’s story because you can!  This is your life my dears!  Go enjoy it!

Shine On!

xo

The More You Know…

forgiveness

“The more a man knows, the more he forgives.”
~ Empress Catherine the Great

We all have a story in our heads about our lives.  Past hurts, triumphs and emotions mesh into our psyche, nestling in like the hibernating squirrels in the trees in Winter.  The challenge is to push forward out of our own minds to see what’s out there beyond our vision and to see relationships as they truly are and not how we perceive them.  It is momentous to look beyond our own limits and to actually see the world around us, to acknowledge faults and goodness, to take stock of our lives and the path which we are treading.  At any moment we can choose to change course, turn around, veer to the left or right or simply walk into the woods.  That is the beauty of free will that we have been given in this life.  There is nothing in stone that says we need to stay cemented on the path we have chosen.  It is only our reluctance to see beyond the walls we have erected, the stories we have embellished and the situation that we encounter.  To expand our vision, we must reach out of the box which we have allowed to imprison our minds and to look around at all which spherically encompasses us.  To be sure, this is not a linear life we’ve been given.

It is not an easy choice for some and I understand.  To see beyond ourselves is an emotional and sometimes tumultuous task for it causes us to look honestly at our faults and goodness ~ to accept and to forgive ourselves and others.  But once we open our eyes to truth, we can move on and see the world in a different light.  That is the beauty of knowledge and forgiveness.

Eyes, heart, mind and soul opened allows healing when we are hurting.  To stay blind to our lives is only to perpetuate the grief, the hurts and the sadness.  To embrace all that we have endured, to take ownership of our lives is to start on the path of healing.  But it takes a willingness to listen with an open heart and not a stony one.  It takes softening, caring and wanting to change the path we are on and not be simply a traveler without voice.

This is your life.  This is my life.  Together we can immerse ourselves in a loving embrace or we can take separate paths to happiness.  It is a choice made together or apart.  But each has their own choice, their own reality and their own willingness to not quit.  I choose to see life in a spherical way ~ listening, learning, thinking, feeling and forgiving.  It is a choice I make daily, sometimes I find I need to make that choice many times a day.  But I do it because it is worth it to me to be present every moment of every day that I am here.

Life is about changing, growing and releasing what doesn’t serve us.  Go forward on your path with love in your heart, forgiveness in your mind and blessings on your soul.

Shine On!

xo