Rose Bushes

The rose, while it may not be everybody’s favorite flower, most people will agree it is a very beautiful flower. It’s the flower that is most sent for Valentines Day and it is symbolic in a sense that different colors of roses represent different emotions and different occasions. The rose can be very simple without many petals but the varieties that most are familiar with is the tea rose and it has many petals and layers and some have the most beautiful fragrance that can be mesmerizing.The colors of the roses have meaning too,  Red means,  I Love You; White,  Purity & Innocence; Pink, Grace, Happiness; Yellow, Friendship, Joy; etc.

 With all the upheaval in my life lately, and my work to detach from my home to move forward into a new life, I missed spring, I missed the azalea’s blooming, I missed the beauty of new growth. I missed getting the yard ready for summer, well I guess I missed everything that was familiar, that was my life. I didn’t resent it, I have no regrets, I was doing what I needed to do!

 While I packed my boxes inside, I would pause to watch my husband working on the yard for over a month now, knowing it was his therapy. Knowing in my heart that it was not my yard anymore it was easy not to think about yard work because I had so many other things on my mind. By tearing the house apart inside and having boxes everywhere, the only place possible to have order would be outside and I could really appreciate that since that is what other see, the outside. We hide so much on the inside and sometimes we hide stuff from ourselves.

Since I made a decision to stay and try to work things out, there is still no order whatsoever in the house but the yard is looking good and I told my husband that I would trim the roses, to please leave them for me since it was always my job.  I slept late yesterday, went to a meeting, grocery shopping then home. He had finished his yard work and was lounging by the pool, so very deserving of his rest time. All I wanted to do was to join him in lounging, but I had promised that I would trim the roses.

 So I went and got the clippers and started hacking them way back since I didn’t do them before the first growth of spring. He asked if I was going too far and I said no it would be fine. One thing that I know for sure is that these knock out roses would come back better than ever. So I continued to hack at them, looking at just how much old growth and new growth there was. I was enjoying the trimming, thinking about my life, relating to how at times in our lives we need to hack away at the old stuff to make something new and that there are times we have to take the new growth back just a bit to re-adjust it to make it even more beautiful. I went about methodically hacking away and before I knew it my husband was there helping me against all my protests for him to go sit. After all he had been doing yard work for months. After trimming, I was chopping the big branches smaller to make them fit the trash bags easier and he was telling me not to worry about that. But I knew what I was doing and how I wanted to do it and he kept insisting that his way was best. I started to say something a few times and realized that while I can be controlling so could he and we are both right and both wrong and so very different. So I continued to trim and he followed me around cleaning up behind me telling me not to cut the branches smaller (for the trash bag) and me wanting to cut them smaller so they fit those trash bags better. I finally figured out a way to do it my way while letting him have his way. WhiIe he was stuffing the bag I started trimming them on the plant smaller then taking out the big branches last. It was a win – win or as Charlie Sheen would say..winning. But does anyone every win? When someone wins another loses.

 The point here is not so much the roses and the trimming or who was winning, it was about team work! It felt good to be part of a team again that was working together for the greater good.  

When I look at the hacked up roses now, I know that they will come back better than ever by their very nature and be beautiful again. I know in my heart that the work that I am doing to peel away all the old growth inside of me will make me blossom and feel beautiful again just like the roses. I also realize that these beautiful plants need care in order to thrive and I will remember each day that I also need care to blossom and grow.

I am positive that everything that has ever ‘happened’ to me is Divine Right Order, no regrets, just joy and gratitude for the experiences that I have had in my life. The future isn’t written yet and we have the power to make it everything our heart desires!Image

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Treat others the way you want to be treated!

How many times have we heard that we should always treat others the way we would want to be treated? I have heard it many times in my life and I am now wondering how many times I could have done better? OK, really I can’t count that high. Wow!

I was in a car and drove past a bus stop last week and there was a woman standing there crying her eyes out. I found myself staring at her and I could feel her pain and as the light turned green and the car I was in moved away, I wondered if I should have jumped out of the car to see if I could have helped that woman. I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t driving, so I withheld the deep need to yell ‘turn the car around’. Now I wish I had because if that had been me standing there crying a stranger might have made a difference in my life. They may not have been able to take my pain away but they may have given me hope that all would be well. Since I will never know what kind of pain she was suffering, I will never know if even a smile would have made her day.

 Aren’t there many times you just wish that you handled things differently, don’t you wish you could go back and have a ‘do over’? I wish I could go back to that bus stop. But the reality is that moment is gone forever and I didn’t make a difference. Would I have even looked at that poor woman twice 6 months ago? The truth is I probably would have turned my head away and never thought of her again. After all we all have our own problems and oh my aren’t ours the worst?

 This moment is all we have, we hope that the next moment will come but we never know until it arrives. Staying present in the moment is hard to do as we tend to stay rooted in the past, stay in our anger holding onto it so tightly that when the moment comes it passes us by because we are still in the past.  We keep ourselves stuck in self pity, resentment, anger, being a victim….that we miss out on our one opportunity to be in the now and make a difference for others and ourselves. By not letting go of the past we will not only lose the moment, we lose our future. Our future has not been written yet and we can make it anything we want it to be, it doesn’t have to be one filled with anger and resentment from old stuff.                 

It was just 12 days ago that I heard some of the worst news that I could have possibly heard and I am proud that the reaction I had to it was not the reaction that I would have had 4 months ago. I know in my heart that the work I am doing to stay centered is keeping me peaceful. I thought about how I would feel in the other persons’ shoes and how I would want to be treated if I had been the person doing the offending so my response to the situation was different than any response I had ever had in my whole life, I did things differently. I was kind and loving and I reminded the person who offended me that we are all human and make mistakes.  I may never know if my response was truly appreciated and I did not respond that way for the person involved, I did it for me. Now that I see that, I am satisfied that I did the right thing and no one can take that away from me.

 As I go through the moments of my life, I will try to stay positive and upbeat, if the moment holds a problem I will remember that all problems can be solved and that anger and resentment do not solve anything. I will try to let go of the past moment so that I am free to embrace the beauty of the next moment because if we are open to it the gifts will come.

 I am grateful today to all people that have passed through my life to help me learn more about myself and the world around me. I am grateful to the woman at the bus stop for teaching me to listen to my inner voice (even though I didn’t act on it) and hopefully next time I will!

 This moment, right now, right now, right now, right now, right now, right now…. Is all we have, did we make the most of it or did we let it pass without appreciating it? Did we do the right thing, did we tell someone we appreciate or love them? Were we kind to others or ourselves?

 I am positive that with practice I will learn to stay in the moment, listen to the inner voice that guides me to do what is right. And….

 Remember to always treat others the way you would want to be treated!

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Mother’s Day

As I am lucky enough to still have my mother in my life, I want to say that she is awesome! She has always been there for me. From kissing boo-boo’s to making sure I was well fed, well dressed, taught to be helpful around the house, to cook and had time to play!  A balanced life. I know that I can call her and talk to her about anything and believe me I do just that. I call her to share my joys, also calling on her to help me through troubled times. She is very patient with me and listens well! My mother never judges and doesn’t offer unwanted advice. If I specifically ask for advice then and only then does she give her opinion, it’s a quality that to this day is one that eludes me, since I am so strong willed. But I will always remember that we are friends and grateful that this wonderful woman is my mother.

Choosing to become a mother was difficult for me as I was young and wanted to experience all that the world had to offer. I just wanted to have fun, travel, go, do! We had moved to a rural area in Oklahoma that was peaceful and quiet. I finally made the decision after much prodding to have a child knowing that my life was about to change in so many ways forever. I was told by everyone (before ultrasound) that I was having a girl, so I was ready with a girls’ name that my ex-husband really liked. Before you knew it the big day arrived and after hours of labor and pushing it was determined that I had to have a C-Section and in my drug induced state I heard something in the distance about a boy and wondered who else in the room had a boy. Hours later they brought this precious boy to me and realizing that I didn’t have a name for him, it brought panic. And I hated it when they took him away without a name. The next day as I held him and tried out names none seemed to fit and I tried my fathers’ name, Joe, and it also seemed cold and who needed two Joe’s in the family, but the idea of naming him after my father was very appealing. So, out loud I said Joey and it was perfect. Joseph was it and we would call him Joey and for this sweet little boy it was perfect! I remember one time as I held him and was talking to him I told him that we would be great friends one day ( my ex-husband didn’t approve) and I now realize that I manifested in that moment of my heart being so open, the thing that I wanted most. By the time we got to high school the name changed from Joey to Joe and we were right back where we started. And it suits him!

So Joe and I are the best of friends 33 years later. I am positive that I could not have gotten through this period of my life without this wonderful man’s wisdom and kindness. His compassion for his fellowman is inspiring and he has taught me a lot by his actions.

I am positive that I am lucky to have a great mother and awesome son. I am grateful to know them both! And very grateful that they are amongst my best friends!

Happy Mothers Day Mom and Happy Mothers Day to me!

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Life is like the perfect martini!

As James Bond would say, “Shaken…Not stirred”. Now don’t most of us wish that life was gently stirred instead of shaken violently? Gee how many of  us out there would gladly welcome a gently stirred life? How many of us wish that the pot was just left on the stove to simmer without the stir and we didn’t have to tend it at all and the dish came out perfect. No work and the perfect meal. No work and the perfect life! Is that heaven or what?

Most of us just keep gently stirring to avoid  shaking things up because if we actually shook it up like we really want, we would have to deal with the outcome, maybe make decisions that are uncomfortable, leading us to unfamiliar territory. As most of us are living in a fog and existing day to day and we keep going on stuffing the things that are bothering us. We think that we are unworthy or unable to achieve our personal best and give and receive love in the way that we need or want. I know that I have spent a lot of years of my life gently stirring and avoiding the real issues. Not that things were never shaken up with arguments and wanting to win those arguments that seemed so important at the time. Really, why were they so important?  What is wrong with us? I will say we are entitled to our feelings and when we express them and another gets defensive what do we do, well cowboy we pick up the other end of the rope and guess what we have, a rodeo. Sometimes the cowboys get hurt at the rodeo.

I went to a 12-step Co-dependents anonymous meeting tonight and we read from Melody Beatties ‘The Language of Letting Go”,  It started and mentioned that ‘Life is a Gentle Teacher’  two different times and there were a lot of us wondering about the ‘gentle teacher’ thing. We most certainly don’t understand that right now because of the pain we are in and definitely feeling shaken not stirred. We all agreed about frustration, confusion and we agree that life will keep teaching us the lesson until we actually learn it.

I read this somewhere in the last few days and posted in on my facebook page..We tend to think of the rational as higher order, but it is the emotional that marks our lives. One often learns more from 10 days of agony than 10 days of contentment. Well cowboy I should be really smart and wise, but I am humbled at all I still need to learn.

So in hindsight I welcome the shaken and not stirred because without it we have no possibility of learning, no possibility of growth, no possibility of learning to love ourselves and no possibility of loving others the way that they deserve.

So turn that negative into a positive and be grateful that life is ‘Shaken and not Stirred’!

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Deja vu

OK, well I am clearly seeing that I have been thru this before. A moment when you knew in your heart that you are supposed to do one thing and someone comes along and throws a monkey wrench in your plan. I only thought that this happened in a past life and we really didn’t remember it. What does it mean? All the work we did to get there and now this? This is what I talked about in an earlier post that the tapestry is never finished and the color and shape of mine is still unfolding.

I was really doing great with my decision to move on, stronger and stronger everyday. The packing was still driving me crazy, deciding what to take and what to leave behind. The only thing I was sure about was that I was going. I was forced to pick a date early last week and June 10th sounded good to me, leave while he was out of town so I couldn’t even say goodbye. Since this goodbye would be the most painful thing that I have ever done. Five weekends left to pack and I thought I could get it done and still have time for self reflection, goodbyes with good friends and some fun in Tulsa Town!

Flash back to the past, 1991. I came home from school one night angry and sure that I wanted a divorce from my first husband, knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted that more than anything, except on that particular day my ex-husband decided to do the thing that I had been begging him  to do for years. OH those stupid marriage vows that say: ‘For better, for worse, in sickness and in health for richer or poorer…..’  I do have  integrity and when I made that promise I meant it. I did stay for another 7 years and ended up divorced anyway. I realize now that it was in the plan, that the work wasn’t finished and it turned out to be a good 7 years of learning about myself and growing towards a path of enlightenment. I was more positive and grateful than I had ever been.

Now to the present and the deja vu moment, after not talking to me for 3 months my husband comes home from work and told me he was sorry he demanded that I set a date for leaving our home to take all the time I needed. Then later that night he asked me if there was any chance I’d be interested in trying to work this out. Gee whiz, really? But I have my mind made up! I know in my heart of hearts that leaving is the best thing that I could do. Marriage vows…..how could this happen again? So I feel exactly the same way that I felt in 1991. I know how that turned out. What’s a girl to do? Stay or Go? I am in a very healthy place, learning how to keep myself amused without anyone else, dealing better and better each day with loneliness and the uncertainty of the future. I am ready to tackle the world.

I sit here numb, confused, if I stay will all I get is another 7 years of growth and learning? Will there be love, peace, serenity. Will it be worth it grow old with my husband? After all I’m still young, healthy. Will there be laughter, fun times? Will we be able to overcome the blended family issues that were some of the underlying issues of this whole mess. This is going to be a hard decision and I am grateful for 2 things, I haven’t left yet and I am more than half packed to go.

This is my birthday weekend and I had planned to pretty much spend it alone, and weeks ago I had a pity party thinking about it, working really hard to accept the birthday by myself and finally feeling good with it.  I ended up spending it with my husband in counseling, church, and a day around our pool, laughing at his crazy antics. We have spent the last 3 days talking. It’s all been positive. I told him if this is that last of our times together I will be grateful that we could have this weekend to say a lot of things to each other I felt needed to be said. I could go in peace, now. The story is not over and the ending is not written….

Lesson learned, never, ever stop working on yourself for it is only you that can love you the way you need to be loved!

 

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positiveandgrateful

What does it mean in terms of the universe or God when information falls into your lap? What does it mean when you find things out that you weren’t supposed to know about? Is it a coincidence? What does it mean when you find out that someone you trusted with your life, your love and your soul, betrays you? From one of my earlier posts I spoke that I don’t believe in coincidences, but sometimes the things we find out about, that are unbelievable must be just that. Does the information make us mad? Does the information confirm that sixth sense? Should we act on it? Would acting on it serve a higher purpose or just suck more energy from us? Does the information make us feel inferior, ashamed, embarrassed, stupid, used, justified, superior? Why did we have to find out, we were happier when we didn’t know, right? Not…

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Balance

Balance is a word that has popped up lately, whether it related to me or to others in my life. I now realize that balance has not played a part in my life in a long time. Sure we go to work and I really don’t know too many people that don’t have to. There was a time about 3-4 years ago where my whole life became about working. We were short-handed and I didn’t get to even start my job till 5:00 PM. I was back there on weekends when it was quiet to do letters and other things. It was all bad, I couldn’t sleep, I wasn’t eating right because of ordering dinner out all the time and it coincided with the start of menopause.  My life was out of balance, it brought me to my knees and my health suffered.

I was trying to manage my health naturally with herbs and supplements and it had worked until the stress set in. I knew exercise would help, but I didn’t have time. About a year later, I gave up and I went to the Hotze Clinic in Houston and they diagnosed me with low thyroid, severe adrenal fatigue and very low hormones. This clinic is one recommended by Suzanne Somers and they paid attention to every word I said and promised that I would feel better. It took several months and I did get my life back. Not 100% but so much better that I was very grateful. We finally hired someone at work that we wanted to keep and I wasn’t working weekends anymore and could go home at a decent time, I start to take care of myself again. I wanted to travel again and do things. I started to cook again and that is the one thing that I enjoy so much! Ah some balance! I dug back into school and finished my degree.  I was sleeping again, even if it was more than I ever did. What had changed is that I was not a morning person anymore and since I had been all my life I missed that. But life was good. Balance, smiling, laughter!

I remember when we moved into this house with our limited possessions how long it took to unpack everything and find a place for it. It took at least 6 weeks and every weekend I stayed home and worked to unpack the boxes while my husband was out playing golf. I guess he knew more about balance than I did. Now as I sift thru possessions, to pack up to leave,  I am finding that it is taking longer (well we do have a lot more stuff) and I am having to deal with my husbands’ impatience. Deciding whether something is important enough to take with me as I downsize or if it is something I will need down the road is hard since I have no clue where I will end up. Don’t you hate having to buy something twice. Well there is my answer. Leave it behind and buy it again if it’s that important. I am confused most of the time making these decisions so much harder. I have to be careful, not to let the stress get to me. I must take care of myself. I can’t and won’t let my health go downhill again. I am trying minute by minute to stay positive at this time of great change in my life. I am choosing healthy foods and making myself eat even when I’m not hungry. I am taking all my supplements. I am sleeping and have become a morning person again! I have reconnected with my good friends and formed connections with new people that have come into my life. I am spending time with them and enjoying myself as much as possible. I’m finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and looking forward to my new life. Tomorrow is my birthday and I will not be packing, I have plans for a full day of fun! Cinco d Mayo is Saturday and I have the opportunity to follow different musicians all day. Since I love music and music is important therapy (sound therapy), I am grateful I have this opportunity.

Remember to seek balance in your life, take care of yourself. Nutrition, exercise (yes dancing counts), laughter, work, meditation, friends, learning, do it all without overdoing anything. I am working hard at balance thru this painful experience and I will say that by staying positive and practicing gratitude, it is a much better experience than it could be!

PS-I have been following a new blogger, Minimalist Living, and that has helped me see the things that I already knew in my heart about stuff. It doesn’t make you happy. Remember about the overflowing closets that you have to spend a weekend cleaning out. Well that’s not balance, is it.

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