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Past Experiences Do Not Dictate The Outcome Of The Present One

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When similar situations repeat themselves, sometimes we can go into a mind spasm.  We relive the past in the present situation, mindlessly worrying that the outcome of the present situation could be the same as the ending of the past one.  I know I’m writing generally here because frankly, the situation could be anything that you’ve endured.

But there’s that trigger, that Oh my gosh! realization that we’ve passed this way before in the past.  I tried to put it out of my reasoning mind, knowing that as before, I am doing the best I can with the resources I have.  But there’s that little worrisome thought that this time may repeat the last one’s ending.  Mindful of not wanting the same results, I pushed away the thoughts, trying to reason my way out of not manifesting the past again.  Because I don’t want what happened in the past to repeat itself.  Yet, I couldn’t shake the fear.

So I rechecked the facts, because my need for control, especially now, is fierce.  All seems well at this time which is good.  But in talking with a kind friend, I realized I was beating myself up internally for feeling as if the past could repeat itself and I was helpless to change what may be the outcome again this time.

When she parroted the situation back to me, as I listened to my own situation but in her voice (as if she were me), compassion filled my heart and I cried.  I realized that I needed to have compassion for myself and for my own feelings in this situation.  I understood that pushing off the absurdity of the situation repeating the past with the same ending wasn’t a ludicrous thought that I had to push away.  I understood that it was a natural thought process that if all lined up as it had previously (which is certainly possible), the ending could be the same.  I struggled with the thought, talking back and forth with my friend as we processed the scenario.  When we were finished talking, I realized what I already knew.  I can only do my best with my own resources and it’s in God’s hands.

I have to be content with that knowledge and find peace within me.  Because at this point, the situation is stable and not showing signs of further chaos, but the threat is real.  It’s just a question of if it’s here or not.

I think perhaps PTSD may be in varying degrees something that we endure over a lifetime when repeated similar situations occur.  Fear and past knowledge often make it difficult when we feel helpless.  So how do we overcome those aching worries?

We need to find compassion for ourselves for even going to that dark place of fear instead of tamping it down and turning away from it.  When I exposed the fear to the light with the help of my trusted friend, I cried and released some of the traumatic fear I was holding for the present situation.  With the tearful release, I was able to ground myself again in the knowledge that I am doing the best I can and only time will tell the actual results.  That gave me a small dose of peace for which I’m ever grateful.

Finding peace is precious and priceless as we endure stressful situations.  We all experience life lessons in different ways.  What I’ve found is that in being love, sending love, and wrapping us all in love, we know that love shines our heartlights into the darkness of fear based thoughts.

I’m not bringing that fear into my thoughts anymore.  I know I can flow with whatever may be on my path as long as I continue to stand in the light and not in the darkness.  Please keep shining your heartlights dear friends!  I can see them and they give me great comfort!

Shine On!

xo

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We Are Here To Serve

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I’ve often wondered, why me? when life gets hard.  I think it’s a normal response when we feel overwhelmed by hard life experiences.  We’ve all had them, but to different extents and different types of experiences.  Dysfunctional relationships.  Cancer.  Financial problems.  Death of a loved one.  Divorce.  Alzheimer’s.  Childhood hurts.  Depression.  Family relationships gone awry.  Illness.  Just to name a few, I am sure we share some of the same hurdles, but maybe in different ways.

Life experiences teach us what we couldn’t have learned otherwise.  We can’t help others if we haven’t endured similar issues in our own lives.  What’s that quote?  Walk a mile in my shoes?  Maybe I haven’t walked in your particular shoes, but perhaps my similar experience is enough to connect with you and to help you on this life journey.

I am grateful for all that I have endured in my lifetime.  When we can see the gratitude in the hardships, we can change how we feel about them.  We increase our faith and our love quotient.  We rise above what we could have let hold us back from living a full life.

We are all here to help each other as we connect, we bond and we share our experiences.  There’s nothing better than someone else who knows what you are going through (by similar experience) who reaches out to share the experience with you as a friend, a guiding light to help you find peace within while offering a hand to hold as you heal.

The Why Me?  was answered recently by my soul who gave the response that if I hadn’t endured these experiences, I would be unable to connect so purely with others who may be in the trenches.  Without first-hand knowledge, I would only be able to sympathize and not empathize and put myself in similar shoes.  Does that make sense to you?

What I know for sure (thanks to Oprah for the phrase) is that we are here to serve one another in this lifetime.  To share experiences, to open our hearts with compassion and love and to shine our heartlights together!

You are not alone…take my hand and let’s…

Shine On!

xo

Puzzled

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I’m often puzzled by people who are too busy or are unable to connect with others.  I understand being caught up in the rat race of life with work, responsibilities, paying bills, family, etc., but there’s something precious in reaching out to others to connect that to me feels as necessary as breathing air.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way, can I?

While I have much compassion for those who live guardedly because to feel and to be vulnerable is sometimes hard, it makes me sad when I hear that that’s how some people feel most of the time.  To speak in one’s own truth and to feel openly takes courage.  Obviously, there’s some trepidation and balance needed in order to do it safely, but the precious give and take between people is priceless.  I look around at some people who are so concerned with how things look that they miss the importance of what could be if they were to be honest with themselves and others instead of hiding behind the mask they’ve chosen to show the world at large.  There’s that soft underbelly of emotional connection that they hide deep within themselves for fear of being hurt by someone or something.

I’ve been hurt in my life.  Betrayed by those whom I trusted.  I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but by enduring those situations, they taught me more about people and life than I ever could have learned otherwise.  If truth be known, I am grateful for the experiences, even though they were so hard.  Because by enduring heartbreak, I learned forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and how to love others and myself more deeply.  Life lessons that couldn’t otherwise be learned except by experience.

We are here to experience life in its fullest form so to hide away doesn’t expose us to the amazing experiences that can be had by being present in our lives.  It’s like living in a cave and never seeing the light of day nor the moon at night.  We stifle ourselves when we hide behind the mask and live with the dull roar of fear which limits us.  When we blossom and open to the light, we shine our heartlights knowing there’s a danger of having them dimmed, but we can still see the meaning in the experience as we grow.  We blossom.  We deepen the life experience.  By sharing our stories, we bond with one another.  We flourish.  We help one another through the trials and tribulations of life.  We experience life from a deeper part of our souls when we are open to living to our fullest.

There is much evil in the world, I know.  I’m not such a fool to not realize that there are dangers lurking and I’m careful.  But I’m not going to let evil make me afraid of living nor sharing my heartlight with you for fear of what could happen.

For many of you, I know you think similarly for I read your blogs and your comments and there’s a team mentality here.  We reach out to connect, we enjoy each other’s virtual company and we bond.  We hold hands, we support each other and we shine our heartlights unabashedly.

Keep up the great work dear friends!  Let’s make a movement together to show others how we can live to our fullest extent.  Let’s help them when life situations break us down in order to let more light in to heal us.  None of us are alone if that’s what we choose.

Be the piece of the puzzle that joins us and not divides us.

Shine On!

xo

 

Find The Sunshine

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Breast cancer Awareness month is ending and I want to end it on a positive note for those who have endured the disease, for the family members who have witnessed their loved ones’ trials and tribulations and for those who have passed away.

Breast cancer took away much from my life mentally, physically and emotionally.  But the experience gave me even more than I ever expected possible.  I’m not making light of the hellish experiences those of us with the disease have endured or the worry and caretaking that our families gave to us during those hard times.

For me, it showed me so much insight that I would not be the woman I am today if I hadn’t endured the disease.  Even though I wish I could have never endured what I did or the fall out that changed my life forever and changed my relationships eventually, I stand firm in not regretting the experience.

I cannot blame my breast cancer for my divorce, but I can say that it put undue strain on our marriage.  How could it not?  But I will forever be grateful to my ex-husband for the love and support he gave to me during those hard times.  Part of the reason I am here was because he believed in me and that was a precious gift for which I am ever grateful.

Breast cancer opened doors for me into learning.  It gave me the platform which has blossomed into The Presents of Presence for in the beginning I felt driven to help other women to find the grace in the experience.  My spirituality soared afterwards and continues to grow with each passing day.

There is always a new dawn and with that sunshine comes possibility, hope and renewal.  Putting the past behind us, we can face the new day with glory, gratitude and happiness.  I know that some days it feels impossible to be upbeat because with breast cancer there are surgeries, recovery, chemotherapy, radiation and a plethora of other painful reminders of the reality of enduring the disease.  But what keeps me going is the knowledge that every day is another chance to live life to the best of my ability, to shine my heartlight and to connect with all who cross my path.

Shine On!

xo

The Benefits In Troubles and Challenges

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If you read the title of my post today and scoffed, I don’t blame you.  When I wrote it, I scoffed a bit too because frankly, who wants to be grateful for troubles and challenges?  Heck, those are things we shy away from, even run from as fast as possible!

Who is their right mind would say there are benefits in troubles and challenges?

Me!  And maybe even you?!

Because I’ve endured quite a few, (cancer, divorce, family with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, death of family, just to name a few), I can attest to their benefits (of course, this is AFTER they happened).  After the fact, we can see how individual challenges make us grow and strengthen us.  The challenges force us, sometimes unwillingly, to look at our lives with a different perspective.  They inspire us to deep deeper into ourselves to find the strength, the courage, and the inspiration to get through the difficult times.  We find out what we are really made of when we have challenges in life.  We are offered choices on life’s path and the beauty that we can choose again at any time makes life interesting.  Challenges and growth opportunities allow us to see how far we’ve come in our lives.

We can see troubles and challenges as building blocks on the road to life.  Our ability to endure them and to triumph over them (or to not) shapes us in different ways.  We enable our innate personality traits to be tweaked.  We learn new ways of coping.  We tune our minds into new avenues of solutions.  We can make new friends who open our eyes to finding peace in stressful situations.

The potential for growth, mentally, emotionally and psychologically during troubles and challenges can be exponential.  True, it can be maddening and frustrating as heck to have to deal with difficulties, but the benefits in the end, can outweigh the discomforts.

I know, you are probably thinking that I just don’t understand your troubles and challenges and you are right.  We all have our own path, but as I have found, they sometimes intersect and we can walk a path together with a friend (or a stranger who becomes a friend) and we can help each other, and support each other as we move through the tough times.

At least that’s been my experience throughout this lifetime.  I find that the higher power in my life, call it what you may, God, Universe, Infinite Spirit, your own higher power – helps me along the way through the hard times by planting strangers disguised as angels, friends, synchronizations, coincidences, etc. in order to help me overcome whatever is holding me back.  These in turn encourage me to grow, to learn and to accept what previously I may have deemed unacceptable.  But in the long run, I know that they were necessary growth spurts to get to me to where I am now.

It’s hard to believe for some of us that there’s a light at the end of a dark tunnel and that in the end, all the hard times were worth the changes that were hard won.  It’s mind-blowing at times that we can see in hindsight the benefits that come after enduring these life lessons.

But they are there.  Truly, they are there.

So please, if you are wondering if it’s karma or back luck or whatever you are thinking in order to blame the bad that’s going on in your life right now, just stop.  Accept it.  Keep going through it and move on.

That light at the end of the tunnel is beckoning you with sunshine!  Come on, hold my hand.  I’ll walk the path with you!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Cancer Changed Me

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Hope ~ Strength ~ Power ~ Belief ~ Courage ~ Honor ~ Determination

I have been told that cancer changed me.  Indeed, it wasn’t said it in the nicest of ways.  In fact, it was taken as a disparaging comment and I was appalled by the off-hand comment.  My first reaction was to defend myself at the time, to show how cancer didn’t change me.  But I left well-enough alone and decided to say nothing.  However, I was hurt by the retort.

Had cancer really changed me?

The question mulled in my head for days and many sleepless nights, more than I’d like to admit, but it’s true.  I’ve written how cancer changes you enough times in this blog to know that the reality is – YES, cancer changes most of us.  It has to, or we wouldn’t still be here.  For we have seen into the yawning mouth of our own demise, endured the most feared emotions and have come out of it alive, so far.  Looking at your own potential death does change you.

It makes you more aware for the most part.  Some of us now see with finite definition that life is short and there are no guarantees how much time we have on this earth.  We become grateful for the beauty in nature, for the simple pleasures that kindness brings and for a real, loving hug which can cure many ills.  We look to connect with others more because we know what it’s like to feel alone.  We share our stories, encourage each other and find the courage to be who we authentically are!  We smile when we are tired.  We work hard to overcome obstacles and to be there for others, even when we feel depleted.  We take that extra moment to smile and to enjoy goodness when it comes into our lives.  We are grateful for the support that we have been given and we look to support others to continue the flow of goodness.  We share tips to help others and happily receive tips to make our lives easier.

We know that all the money in the world, with all the frivolities are fleeting and really don’t mean a damn when death comes knocking at our door.  It’s that silence between ourselves and our maker (or our beliefs) in the quiet of the night that counts.  It’s regarding peace within as a precious gift, time spent with loved ones and a centered calm in which to retreat when life becomes hard.  It’s the voice within the stillness which speaks of love, gratitude, peace with ourselves and others and God.

Yes, cancer changed me.  That’s for sure.  Perhaps it was the misunderstanding of me that caused this person to spout the ‘dig’ as I took it.  Sometimes it takes a loss for us to be humble and perhaps there will be people who simply never understand.  And that’s ok with me.

I am me, authentically me.  I make mistakes, I ask for forgiveness and I forgive.  I choose to live in a state of peace within when I can, but I am always evolving, ever growing and yet, trying to do all things with love.  I intend to do my best, at any given moment, but I’m human.  I’m a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?

What’s precious to me in my life is love, kindness and connections and I strive every day to live with those three precious gems in my life.  Cancer made me a better person by giving me so many lessons in my life.  I’ve learned so much from cancer, even though I never wanted to endure that disease.  Looking back on my life, I realize that I am who I am today because of cancer.  Even if others don’t understand me, it’s ok now.  I’m at peace and I’m ever grateful for the peace within me.

Shine On!

xo

Begin Again

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A friend gave me a magnet awhile back in anticipation for all of the changes that were in store for my future.  At the time, I didn’t want to Begin Again as it was daunting for me to think about all that would be changed.  Regardless of how much I didn’t want the changes, they happened anyway, out of my control.  Instead of accepting that my life would dramatically change in all ways – divorce, moving, financially, health-wise, etc., I fought like a tigress to remain in that stagnant limbo of wanting no change, all while change happened anyway.

Finally, I surrendered.

Broken, exhausted and drained, I surrendered.

It’s not that I didn’t agree that the changes were imminent and necessary.  It was that I was fearful of how I would continue on in this uncharted territory for my journey and the journey of my children, for it wasn’t where I wanted to be.  But when I stopped fighting against the rising tide and began to doggy paddle to keep afloat, I received help through the transition.  Angels disguised as friends and strangers reached out to me with kindness.  I began to see the future as a new chapter in my life, a new book on which to write my story and a fresh clean slate which I controlled (for the most part) of how I am the captain of my own life’s ship.

I began planning what had to be done and like a sergeant, began the transition with what I hoped would be military precision.  But alas, I may have had a plethora of military family members, but precision has not been a characteristic blessing unto me.  And so it was, I surrendered.  I did my best daily, fell asleep on my pillow with a bone tired body and rose up the next morning to do it all again.  And finally, it was accomplished, through the help of my angelic human angels.

Now we begin again, in a new home with new challenges.  Regardless, I have surrendered what was and I embrace what is and I plan for what I would like to be.  To Begin Again requires letting go of the past and staying in a peaceful present and allowing a hopeful future to blossom, petal by petal.

I am grateful for the peace within now.  Although transitions are often fraught with wiggles and compromises, I knowingly stand with peace in my heart, grateful for the lessons and learning which have come with the experiences I’ve endured.  I’ve learned so much about people, about myself and about love.  Life lessons have been tough at times, but well-worth the growth that came out of them.  Sure, it’s easy in hindsight to feel this way, but I guess I wanted to share with you so that you can remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  We just have to keep walking towards the light.

I’m here for you if you are going through any transitions as I’ve been through a bunch of different ones:  cancer, multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation, divorce, selling a house, finding the right rental, starting over at 50, death of family, family with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, etc.  If you need a friend, here I am, with my arms wide open for a hug.

Shine On!

xo