Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” ~Fulton Oursler~
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~Alexander Graham Bell~
It's a two quote kind of day.
Yes, it is true, someone actually said that.
My reply? "No, actually I am not. Even though I wish things could be different, I would not change the way I loved my son, nor would I expect him to have loved me any differently than he so beautifully did. If something happened to someone you love tomorrow, I hope you could say the same thing."
Was I a perfect parent? No. Was he a perfect child? I think so, but I suppose I may be slightly biased. But woulda, coulda, shoulda? Really? I was absolutely stunned that someone would say this to a mother who was grieving the recent loss of her child. Speechless, and let's face it. That does not happen to me very often.
This statement, early in my grief, shocked me. I just didn't see it coming. The person did not see the error in saying it. It was almost as if it was a given for her, a natural process in her own life to look back over her shoulder and "play the game", revisiting your actions and the actions of others with a focus on regret, blame and shame. Looking to the past in the hopes that reflection can somehow change the reality that you are facing in the present.
But we all know you can't erase or change the past. So why do we spend so much time trying to do just that?
It never works. It can't. Looking back does one thing. It keeps you stuck. You cannot move forward as long as you are trying to affect change on the unchangeable. And how far do you plan on going back? To your most recent mistake? How about college? Hell, if we are playing the game, why not go back to that unfortunate incident in the third grade? If this game really worked, we would all spend our today's fixing our yesterdays.
Now, that is not to say that you can never look back and reflect on your life lessons in an attempt to improve yourself for the days and years ahead. That is a good thing. It is also not to say that you will never make any mistakes. No matter how great you live, you will always be imperfect by design. I am cringing right now thinking about some of my own "cringe-worthy" moments on my journey to now.
You also can't change the past for someone else. Many times, when we hurt, we look to the past, and say, "If she didn't do that to me, I could be happy."
Okay, but she did. And unless you are Marty McFly with a DeLorean and a mad scientist for a friend, you can't go back and change it. So what now?
- Wipe the slate clean.
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Everyone else does.
- Make peace with the fact that no relationship will ever have perfect closure. Whether it is death, divorce, break up, or firing. It will never be the perfect script you write after the fact. And that's okay. That's how you learn.
- Know that you only ever have power to improve upon the present.
- Distance yourself from any toxic emotional vampires who tell you that you should play the game of woulda, coulda, shoulda.
- Promise yourself you are done playing that game. No more. Refocus yourself on the now. It will take work at first, but keep trying. It will happen.
- Imagine what your loved one would say to you. For me, I think about that chat with Stephen. I think he tells me daily to take all the love I have for him in my heart and give it away to those who need it.
Wipe the slate clean. You deserve to be happy.
Friday, March 4, 2011
I am pleased to review another book from Hay House, Doreen Virtue's The Angel Therapy Handbook.
Before I begin my review, let's quickly go over some housekeeping items. I received a copy of this book free of charge from Hay House, as they reviewed my blog and thought my readers might like to hear about the book. I want to make sure I am compliant with all FTC regulations, and let you know that although I received this book without charge, the review is my own personal opinion after having read the book from cover to cover.
Doreen Virtue is a world renowned spiritual clairvoyant, also holding B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in counseling psychology. Doreen is the author of numerous books on the angelic realm, and has appeared on Oprah, CNN, The View, and other television and radio programs. She is truly an expert in her field.
The book essentially provides guidance for the reader so we may connect with our own angels. It begins by explaining the "who's who" of the angelic realm, and then discusses how people can connect. Doreen explains in detail how we can all find that connection, and unblock our minds to hear and be guided by angels and our loved ones. It helps a person give angel readings, regardless of your spiritual background. It is a the manual for what she has been teaching for years.
She believes that anyone who wants to communicate with angels, and open their hearts to hear their messages, can do so.
I am not sure why I struggled so as I wrote this review. The fact is, I really enjoyed the book. I liked reading about the various angels, and learning about opening your mind to hearing your own angels. In my own life, since losing Stephen, I have written about butterflies and magic that I could not explain without some acknowledgment in the existence of something beyond our physical life. This book is one that I will not pass along. Rather, I will keep and refer to in the months and years to come. But yet, for all the positives, I still struggled.
I finally realized, in all my writing, I had kind of skirted around the issue of afterlife, of our loved ones or angels being around us. I was just vague enough so I did not have to really hang out there with my detailed beliefs. On that limb. Telling you I go to bed and pray to God and angels and all things good, that I wish nightly for Stephen to come to me in my dreams. Reading this book made me slightly uncomfortable. Not because of the content or the way in which it is presented. It was just so concrete. There was no mist of vague interpretation I could hide within. It was all there, to believe or to doubt.
In the months I've been writing since Stephen's death, the pragmatic logical business person in me had myself presenting this information in such a way that if questioned, I could perhaps answer in whatever way would please the person asking. The generic version if you will.
But here's the truth. I do believe. I believe in life after death. I believe in angels. I believe there is so much we don't understand. I believe in angels and connections from the other side. I believe in the helping hand of God. I believe. And perhaps Doreen's book validated all of my feelings.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for the connection that we all wonder about. The book can be purchased at the HayHouse website, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. If you are in Canada, you can also purchase it at Chapters.
I believe. Take some time to check out this book and learn more about the unconditional love that surrounds all of us.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Here's a recent conversation with my husband:
Me: I was watching the news tonight, and I just can't believe what is happening.
Hubby: In Wisconsin?
Hubby: In the Middle East?
Hubby: Then, where?
All together. What is happening all at the same time.
Our voices have power. We can comfort, we can inspire, we can make others want to act or retreat, we can encourage others to believe in themselves, or we can bully them until they believe in nothing but the images we present. We can use our voice to share our opinions, or we can use our voices to ram our opinions down the throats of anyone who will listen.
We do not need to change laws. We need to change ourselves. We can only ever change ourselves. We need to stand up, person to person, and demand something better, for now and for our generations to come. We need to ask for a return to civility.
To circle back, I feel truly blessed that I am married to someone who, on a regular basis, has "How can we change the world?" conversations with his wife. Today, I am thankful for the knowledge that we all have the power to affect change on the planet earth. Person to person. With love and kindness.