Posts Tagged ‘Soul’

Contrasts Offer Opportunity for Reflection

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Within a short span of eleven days we will have attended 2 funerals and 2 weddings. This has caused me to think about the cycles, the circle of life.

One of these deaths was swift and totally unexpected. An apparently strong and healthy man of only 63, his family was shocked and will undoubtedly spend quite a bit of time moving through the trauma until they are able to begin understanding how their life will move forward.

The other death was an elderly woman in her 90’s. Dearly beloved by her family and friends, she was sharp and witty until almost the very end. The last few weeks of her life were spent still teaching family and friends how to live life.

And of course 2 weddings. To me there is very little that represents more optimism than a couple in love, promising to spend their lives caring about and for one another.

Beginnings and endings. We spend most of our life somewhere in between. Thank God for that. While the beginnings and the endings are times when we really focus on what life is about, the time in between is where we learn and practice. Sometimes we do well, sometimes we could do better. Still, these significant events cause many of us to step back and ponder life in ways that we may not do otherwise.

What do the weddings represent to you? These couples are people who have learned to love one another, and with any luck they have learned to really like one another, which I think can be much more important. When I look at these couples I wonder, what sort of language will they use to ask one another not to leave wet towels on the bed? Will they be kind or harsh when one tells the other that they really need to get stronger deodorant? Are they prepared to go through times when one is ill? How will they show one another appreciation or express disappointment? When they fall out of like with one another from time to time, will their love prompt them to re-discover what brought them together in the first place?

And the funerals. Oh my, I’ve learned so much about people at funerals. One particular woman comes to mind for me. I had grown up hearing nasty things about her, very little that was good. She wasn’t particularly kind to me and in short I was pretty sure that she was not a nice person at all and probably had never been a nice person. At her funeral I learned that she was much more complicated and interesting. People I didn’t know shared incredible stories about how she had gone out of her way to help them when she was very young and was living with unimaginable difficulties herself. I learned that she was a very strong woman who cared deeply about people who were in her life, regardless of whether or not they were relatives. The stories went on about her talents; she was an amazing cook, generous with her time and love. The woman I knew was a product of a very difficult life, but even during those years, many people experienced another side of her altogether.

When someone dies it offers us the chance to come together and share stories. If we allow ourselves to listen with an open heart and mind we can lean things that change our lives. Perhaps forever.

To me the weddings represent beginnings of a sort; however the funerals don’t represent an end. I firmly believe that our souls go on living, so this transition is simply an opportunity to reflect on what has been learned. Truly a new beginning.

I wonder what these things represent for you. So many beginnings in our life, and each offers us the opportunity to step back and reflect on what we believe, what we know, what we have learned. May the learning continue.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sandy

 

 

 

NO, Your Dog Absolutely CANNOT Crap in My Yard!

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Alternate title: It’s Okay to Maintain and Protect Your Boundaries 

I’m fascinated by boundaries and the way we set and guard them – or don’t. It seems that quite often we’re pretty wishy-washy about what is okay and what is not okay. Why is that?

When we listen to others, we’re usually pretty darned clear about what is and is not an acceptable way for others to treat them. However, when it comes to ourselves many of need a gentle reminder that it’s perfectly acceptable to expect others to respect our privacy and treat us with consideration and respect.

Have you ever had anyone ask you to do something and even when you say ‘no’ they push for reasons why? Or completely disregarding your response, keep pushing for a ‘yes’? That’s because your boundary is not clear to you. If it’s not clear to you and if you are not willing to protect that boundary, how in the world can you expect someone else to be observant and respectful of that boundary?

Yes, I’ve had to learn a few lessons about boundaries myself and it’s an ongoing project. I’ve found that it’s not only okay to set and protect my boundaries, but it’s essential if I want to keep my sanity. This benefits others as well, because if I am able to acknowledge and respect my personal boundaries, I’m much more likely to acknowledge and respect theirs as well. This pretty much keeps me out of trouble.

It’s perfectly okay with me if someone asks me personal questions. I answer the questions that I want to answer, but if someone asks something that I do not want to answer I simply tell them that I prefer not to discuss. If they push, I ask why they want to push regarding something that I’ve already made it clear is not open to discussion.  I ask this sincerely and then I shut my mouth. The conversation never fails to change directions. I’m protecting myself. Picking and choosing what I will and will not discuss. Trust me it gets easier each time.

Same thing works very easily when someone asks me to do them a favor or invites me somewhere. I’m usually very happy to accept, but if I decline with a simple, ‘no thank you’, I feel like that should be enough. If pushed, I once again ask why they want to push. Hmmmm…the results can be very interesting. Usually, the subject drops or changes.

One of my favorite people on the planet made a very wise observation recently. I’ve got to paraphrase because I didn’t write down her precise words. But this is the gist of her wisdom. If we believe that our souls are eternal (I do!) then our bodies are simply playing host to our souls. Why in the world would we treat this beloved guest with any less consideration, love and respect than we offer to others? Wow! That was very profound and I’m grateful to her for sharing.

This makes it even easier for me to protect my boundaries with love, kindness but absolute clarity. After all, my soul is my constant guest and deserves kindness and the most excellent treatment and this guest is absolute going to receive that sort of kindness.

This does not mean that I don’t reach out to others to ask questions or engage in other ways. I absolutely do! However, I try to be aware of the signals that they send out to me and respect those signals. I simply ask them to do the same. It feels very good. This is self-care.

The truth is that if you are a family member, friend, or even a client who comes to me for life coaching, Reiki or hypnosis you have heard my views about self-care again and again. I think it’s vital that we take good care of ourselves. When we do so, we are much more able to treat others well.

How about it? Are you ready to recognize your own boundaries? Are you able to see and acknowledge the boundaries established by others? I encourage you to really listen to yourself and others. What feels okay? Find that place of comfort and good feelings and simply, lovingly but firmly protect your boundaries. Practicing that self-care gets easier and easier and others will learn from you. This is good for you and good form them as well.

Namaste,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sandy

 

 

 

 

When I Grow Up I Want To Be More Like My Dog

Monday, October 25th, 2010

I’ve decided that my dog knows quite a bit about living life to the fullest. When he’s tired, he simply heads to his favorite spot in the sun and takes a nap. When he wants his belly rubbed he comes and makes it clear just what he wants. When Indy’s hungry there is no doubt that he would like a meal. You know when Indy’s in the mood to play because he simply starts playing. Smart guy!

Because Indy is so clear about what he wants he is seldom disappointed. Indy is a brilliant life coach! He’s teaching me lessons every day and I’m doing my best to learn from him.

When I work with clients, whether life coaching, Reiki or meditation, I am always encouraging them to practice excellent self-care. While I may forget to practice this myself from time to time, my buddy Indy offers gentle reminders. If I’m a bit too serious, he reminds me that life is to be enjoyed by showing my just how much fun there is to be had in a short wrestling match.

One of the life coaching lessons I continually strive to learn better is to embrace and express certain emotions. While laughter and joy are very easy for me to share other thoughts and emotions are more difficult for me to express. Fear, anger and grief are very difficult for me to share with others or to simply release. In the past I have found that I had a tendency to stuff or simply deny these feelings. Here’s the thing, although I may prefer to deny these emotions they do still exist. The body, mind and spirit has a full range of emotions, and whether I like it or not, my body, mind and spirit will find a way to express these emotions. They are not intended to be denied, bottled up or stuffed. They are there for a reason! A full range of emotions keeps us healthy and it’s vital that we each find a non-destructive way to express these emotions.

What do you do? For me, writing is therapeutic; digging in the dirt, walking and of course being with my buddy Indiana is extremely helpful. When Indy’s sad or upset he doesn’t hesitate to come to me and indicate that he simply wants my company. Sometimes it’s enough for him to just hang out with me, other times he needs some real exercise. I have a lot to learn from my dog.

I am learning, though to be honest I am sometimes a slow learner. 🙂 At the very young age of 49, I am slowly becoming more comfortable sharing feelings, thoughts and emotions that I have always accepted in others easily. Life coaching, Reiki and meditation have all helped me to understand that being sad or angry is no more destructive or negative when present in my life than they are in anyone else.

This is a good time to acknowledge and appreciate not just my resident life coach Indy, but also dear friends and family. These folks not only allow, but at times even gently prod me to share as much as I feel comfortable. I’m so grateful for that. Equally as important, they do not demand that I share; they simply hold the safe space and remind me that all emotions, thoughts and feelings are welcome and safe. That’s powerful stuff and I can’t say how grateful I am.

Indy reminds me every single day that it’s okay to have a full range of emotions and to share those emotions with others. You will have absolutely no doubt when my buddy is happy, that nub of a tail wags so hard that I’ve often thought how remarkable it is that it’s still attached.

What do you do to express yourself? Do you dance? Perhaps you retreat to a private place with your thoughts…maybe writing is your thing. There are so many ways to express yourself, talk to a loved one, call a friend, laugh and or cry at a movie. Exercise or take a bath, read a book and let your emotions pour themselves out. I don’t know what’s right for you and you may not know at this moment either. If you can’t figure it out by yourself, give me a call and I’ll be happy to help you figure it out.

I’m going to keep studying and allowing my own personal life coach to assist me in this growth, Indy’s really quite good at this whole process. I encourage you to find discover what allows you to express yourself. In the meantime, I will continue to strive to live life more like my dog. In the moment and expressing all emotions to the fullness that is appropriate this very moment.

Namaste,

Sandy

Meditation Musings – Mindfulness

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Mindfulness has been defined by the psychologist and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmental.  Mindfulness is also a meditation technique in which one allows thoughts, images, feelings, and body sensations to pass through the mind without reacting to or becoming involved with, those things.

If, while meditating, one notices an itch on the end of the nose or in the middle of the back the meditator recognizes the sensation and allows it to pass. Simply, ‚I have an itch‚  No attachment, no internal discussion, just ‚ I have an itch. Most of the time, after acknowledgment, the itch fades away and your mind has already moved on. We use the gentle, persistent returning to the Now to dismiss these sensations from our mind.

If you are a regular meditator and particular thoughts or sensations keep arising during your sitting you will take note of them, return to the moment and ponder them at a later time. Quite often simply becoming aware of the recurring thoughts or images can provide a very clear picture of what’s causing us to lose our center and/or grounding.

Please note the particulars of the definition cited above: on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.

We practice mindfulness on purpose. We decide it is a useful aspect of meditation, we become sensitive to it and it becomes part of our life. When we practice mindfulness in the zendo and with our sangha it’s very hard not to take it out into our daily lives.

We practice mindfulness in the present moment, in the Now. The Now is the place most meditation starts but when moved into our daily world mindfulness in the Now provides us with the real context of the events and emotions we experience, not the context we impose upon them.

We practice mindfulness without judgment. We accept what is, simply because it is. As the author R.A. Heinlein once wrote, ‚the observed phenomena requires no explanation, it simply exists‚. Observing without judgment keeps us from jumping to conclusions. How many times have we made hasty assumptions about a situation or person and later discovered that if we had just kept ourselves open and nonjudgmental we would been saved a great deal of embarrassment? This same concept dispels the ‚why me?‚ and it’s not fair‚ kind of thinking. Whatever it is, it just is.

Mindfulness can be used to help us relieve stress and anxiety simply by allowing it to pull us back into the Now. Stopping the whirling thoughts helps us move to a more stable mental place. When our technological world starts to overwhelm us a return to the Now of nature can reset our physical and mental clocks from the frantic pace of today’s techno-environment to the unique tempo nature imposes upon herself. We must never forget that it’s also our natural tempo and anything else is artificial.

Personally, I think I’ll go outside and mindfully feel the breeze on my face, smell the flowers in the garden and enjoy the Now.

Namaste
Jim

Reiki for Self-Care

Friday, June 25th, 2010

What do you do to take care of yourself? You may exercise, eat right, meditate or a variety of other activities which offers relaxation and the opportunity to ‘unwind’.¬¨‚Ć May I suggest that you consider adding Reiki to your daily practice?

Reiki, defined as Universal Life Energy, is an excellent addition to your daily routine. When I teach Reiki I always encourage my students to give themselves Reiki every day.¬¨‚Ć Reiki is a gentle, hands on healing technique which offers balancing of your life energy. You don’t need any special equipment or tools to do Reiki. Simply your time and intention. It doesn’t get much better than that!

When you give yourself Reiki you learn to become more aware of your own energy, when you are out of balance and the subtle shifts as you come back into balance. Reiki helps you on all levels, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. And here’s another wonderful detail, you don’t need to know where the imbalance is or on which level you need to heal. Because Reiki is channeled through you from our Higher Power, it goes where it’s most needed for your highest good.

You may want to spend an hour or more giving yourself Reiki everyday, or you may only spend a few moments with Reiki. What sort of time do you want to give to yourself? It’s all up to you and it’s always going to work for your benefit. Personally, I often give myself Reiki while I relax in the evening, even while I’m watching television or reading a book.

Once you’ve been attuned to Reiki, by taking a Reiki class, you will discover that it’s available to you at any time, simply hold the intention that Reiki flow and the energy flow begins. Ahhh, love that!

As always, I encourage you to take excellent care of yourself. I’d also like to suggest that you consider adding Reiki to your daily routine. It’s a lovely addition and an excellent method of self-care.

Namaste,

Sandy

Let Your Hands Do the Talking

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Do you ever suspect that your body knows things that your head isn’t in on? I’m going to assume that you are sitting there, nodding your head because now you know this happens to everyone. If not, please give me a bit more time and see how this feels to you.

As you well know by now, I’m a fan of taking time to meditate, trying to find quiet moments to listen to your heart and soul. What that looks like for one person may be very different for another. What most may think of as meditation, sitting quietly while listening to the silence, quiet music or even guided meditation helps me to learn a lot about myself, but I often have a difficult time quieting my mid to actually ‘hear’ my soul. Not to worry, there are alternative and complementary options available.

How about writing? I suggest you give yourself anything from a few minutes to a few hours, everyday if possible to simply write. It doesn’t have to be anything specific, if you don’t have anything you would care to write about, you may simply write your name, the ABC’s, or even ‘I don’t know what to write, but I’m going to see what comes out of my pen.’ Write for as long as you feel comfortable. There are those who say you should write three pages each and every day, without fail. I don’t personally feel as though I can say you ‘should’ do anything of the sort,¬¨‚Ć however, I know that when I do allow myself to write I learn some pretty surprising things about myself.

Recently I have found myself encouraging each and every one of my life coaching and MasterMind clients to write. Clearly my heart wants me to return to the practice and I do like company.  Why? Because when I do take the time to write I discover things about myself that I may or may not want to know. I have discovered anger that I had not been previously aware of on a conscious level.  Not only did the daily writing allow me to know and feel the anger, it also allowed me to process and release the anger in a much less painful way than I may have experienced otherwise. Writing has also allowed me to very recently re-discover a strong desire that I had pushed to the back of my mind long ago, sure that it could not happen. Of course if you know me, or work with me as a Reiki or life coaching client, you know that I encourage you not to worry about how something will come to be, simply to think about what and how you would like your life to look.

Writing may reveal many things to you. A few of my favorite people come immediately to mind. They are never without a pad of paper and a pen. Writing down thoughts as they occur, bits of things others may say, nudges from their heart or mind. Sometimes they refer back to these notes, often they discard them. The important thing is that they allow their hands to reveal bits that they may not necessarily mentally process on a conscious level.

I’m back to writing. It’s just for me and it feels very good. I appreciate that it’s a way for me to review what is happening in my life, a way for me to process events, good and bad, discover new thoughts and ideas. It turns out that I’m much more creative and less judgmental of my ideas when I use this process. I’m learning and appreciating things about myself. How cool is that?

This week I encourage you to write, write, write. Without expectation, without restrictions, let it flow.

Warmly,

Sandy

Retreat – It’s All About You

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I am silly excited about the retreat that is coming up. From Friday, February 5th – Sunday, February 7th. Ladies, you are invited to participate.

This weekend is really dedicated to you. An opportunity to relax and put the focus on what you want and need. This retreat will be held at Shalom House, located in the lovely Kettle Moraine area. Spending time with other women, you will have the opportunity to listen to your heart and to hear what your soul is trying to say to you.

We will offer many opportunities to you, but remember, the choices are all yours. You may experience a personal Reiki session, or PSYCH-K, join in guided meditation or yoga. Supplies will be available to create your own vision board as well and of course every conversation will have a bit of life coaching involved. There are plenty of quiet places to take a nap, enjoy your own thoughts, read a book , write in your journal or even take a walk in the beautiful woods.¬¨‚Ć It’s all up to you.

I am honored to be co-hosting this event with life coach Melissa Heisler. Melissa co-hosted the November retreat with me and it was powerful beyond what either of us could ever have expected.

Please join us,

Sandy Walden
Serenity, Holistic Life Coach and Reiki Master

Melissa Heisler
It’s My Life. Personal and Business Coach

Perfect, Just Perfect

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

There’s a book I’ve been reading for over a year. It’s less than 300 pages, which means it should be a book that I have easily read in a weekend. Not so much. I keep beginning the book over and over again. Several times it has hit me right between the eyes, or more accurately, it has hit the mark of my heart. I’m working on it again and this time I’m making much more progress.

The title is ‘Radical Forgiveness’ by Colin C. Tipping. The basic concept is that everything that happens in life is perfect. From opening my eyes in the morning to experiencing something that I might consider a tragedy is perfect on a soul level. This offers me great comfort at the same time that it challenges me tremendously.

I’ve decided that the reason I am drawn to this book again and again is that I believe it to be a most simple and profound truth. I’ve been sharing this idea with more of my Reiki and life coaching clients and I realize that many others share this belief on at least some level.

It’s a concept that is sometimes pretty tough to wrap my head around. After all it’s much easier for me to simply slip into anger, frustration or blame when something happens that is not in my plans. When I stepped into something nasty the other day while picking tomatoes from the garden it was easy to see that there was a simple lesson for me. I could have avoided the situation by putting on shoes and next time that’s what I did. But what is perfect about someone being brutalized or worse? I’m not sure that I can answer that in a way that makes sense to me or to you. I believe that there is always a soul lesson for all who are involved. Learning what that lesson is and seeing the value is something that I am still working on, but I believe that it’s there and that it’s real.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long, possibly life long process for me. I have to admit that I’m both challenged and excited about this prospect. I’m excited to share this journey with my Reiki and life coaching clients as well as family, friends and colleagues. This is far too exciting to keep to myself!

So, I’m going to keep working on it. I encourage you to either pick up the book for yourself, or to at least spend a bit of time thinking about the concept. As for me, I find great comfort in the idea that there is someone I call God guiding me, sending teachers to me and offering me the lessons that my soul is requesting on a continual basis.

Wishing you a wonderful week, knowing that it will be perfect in whatever manner it unfolds.

Warmly,
Sandy

My Dog may be the Smartest Person I Know

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

DSC01071My dog is a five year old boxer named Indiana. Indy has been through a lot and is always teaching me lessons, for which I’m grateful.

Today as I sit here I realize that Indy is teaching me about self-care. Interesting because it seems that during each and every session with any client, be it Reiki or life coaching, we always spend some time chatting about the importance of self-care.

A few days ago the boxer that we had been fostering went to live with his new family. Duke appears amazingly happy and I’m grateful for this. While Duke has lived with us for the past few months, Indy has adjusted and made room for him to be a part of our pack. Way to go Indy.

They would lie on either side of me to get their Reiki nearly every night, each knew just what position the other would occupy when we went on walks and they quickly fell into a mealtime routine that was easy for Duke. Indy made all of these adjustments with a no muss, no fuss attitude and I am grateful.

Now Duke is not here. Indy is adjusting again. I think he’s missing his buddy a little bit and feeling as though he needs a little more of my attention. He’s generally telling me this in gentle ways. Coming to sit on my feet or curling next to me on the couch (generally a big no-no). He’s also finding ways that are not quite so subtle. Stealing food from a counter top which is something he’s never done before. Doing a little bit of digging in a great big plant, again something he has never done before, not even when he was a pup.

Indy is taking care of himself by letting me know in as clear a manner as possible that he needs a bit more attention from me right now. And he’ll get that attention. His ways of asking may seem naughty, but let’s face it, he has limited options for communicating with me, I don’t understand the subtle body language of my canine friend as well as I would like and good behavior is expected and easily dismissed. So, he has resorted to a bit of misbehavior. Perfectly understandable.

No, Indy is not being scolded nor reprimanded in any way. I didn’t catch him breaking the rules, simply discovered the results. What he is getting is more cuddle time. More walking, training and Reiki time. More time focused on Indiana and taking care of his needs. It’s always a delight to do these things and I really appreciate that Indiana has reminded me of the need to spend more time together.

I really like and appreciate that Indy knows what he needs and is doing his best to communicate these needs to me. He’s clearly feeling a bit sad and lonely and he knows that spending time with me doing the activities that he likes best will make him feel better. Indy knows himself and he is taking care of himself to the very best of his ability.

I will continue to encourage all of my Reiki and life coaching clients to take the time to focus on their own needs. Are these needs being met? Are your needs being met? If not, how can that be remedied. Consider taking a little bit of time to listen to your heart and soul , it always tells us what we need to know. I encourage you to then find the courage to meet these needs.

For me, Reiki helps an awful lot. For my husband it’s exercise, for Indiana it’s a combination of Reiki, exercise and companionship. What works for you?

This week, I’d like to thank my buddy for sharing his wants and needs with me. I’m honored to be able to be part of his life and I’m grateful that he’s willing to continue teaching me.

Warmly,
Sandy

Peace at Last

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

DSCF0525My father died on Friday, December 29, 2006. It was much more painful than I expected.

My father and mother divorced when I was very young. My mom soon married again to the man who raised me, the man I have always considered and referred to me as my dad.

I was raised to respect and care about my father. While I grew up in Wisconsin he lived and worked in Louisiana. Generally I saw him once a year, though sometimes it was less often. He made regular phone calls while I was growing up and I’m sure he did the best he could to build a relationship. But as you might expect it was never as close as I somehow thought it should be and always hoped it would become.

I grew up, married and had a family of my own. My father continued to call fairly regularly and to visit when he would be in the area. As he had been raised in northern Wisconsin he made visits to the Milwaukee area most years.

This was always a tough relationship, looking back I think it was tough for both of us. There’s no doubt that I could have and should have tried harder on my end. I always thought that he could have and probably should have tried more as well. Sadly, when I think about it now, I realize that I had no idea how to bring about the relationship I desired or if I even knew what I wanted. I always just sort of felt that there was something missing. Frankly, I don’t know even now if he was satisfied with the way things were either, or if he thought there should be more as well.

My father’s two younger brothers died a few years before him. After their deaths I had the strong feeling that he was much more aware of his mortality. He definitely made more of an effort to connect with me and my grown children than he ever had before. He spent a few weeks at a time in Wisconsin and made much more of an effort to connect. While I appreciated this effort, and we had some very good times, the truth is that it was often very strained. Still it was progress.

The phone call came in September of 2006. My father told me that he had terminal cancer. I knew it was now or never. We kept in touch much more frequently and I drove down to Louisiana to spend a few weeks with him. I’m so glad that I did. Still, in the manner of people who have full hearts but do not feel comfortable expressing their emotions to one another, we left much unsaid.

When I learned of his death I thought that I would be able to close that particular chapter of my life. We had cared about one another, but truly not known each other as well as we probably could have. I really believed that it would be a matter of shedding some quiet tears and saying goodbye. Wrong.

What I found out was that I cared much more deeply than I knew. I relived and experienced feelings of loss and grief from my childhood on. I thought about the experiences that we had missed out on, the fact that he hadn’t attended my wedding and had never held any of my children when they were babies. I had to acknowledge the anger and resentment that I had felt at never feeling like I was a priority in his life. I had to acknowledge these feelings and allow myself to truly feel them before I was able to let them go. Of course that meant that I also had to acknowledge my feelings of shame and guilt, I had to honestly take ownership of my part in this relationship. The finger pointing and blame game was not acceptable anymore. It was important to acknowledge and apologize for not making my feelings clear to him while he was still here.

Reiki helped me so much as I went through this process. After I went through the blame and anger I was finally able to acknowledge that someplace deep inside I had always known that my father really did love me very deeply. He simply did not demonstrate it in the manner I had somehow expected. Receiving Reiki on a regular basis and practicing life coaching skills helped me to move into a place of love and forgiveness, for both of us. To be honest, it took an awful lot of thinking about him, praying and meditating to be sure that he was aware now in the afterlife that I had always had very deep affection for him as well. Eventually, I was able to come to a place of peace.

So, here I am. More than two and a half years later I am now able to think about my father and smile. The bitterness, anger and hurt needed to be allowed, acknowledged and finally released. Now there are the feelings of forgiveness and acceptance for both of us. There is acknowledgment that few people live storybook lives where emotions and feelings are demonstrated to the expectation and satisfaction of all involved. Most of us feel that others should say or do things in a different manner to be most effective, but emotions and feelings are complicated and the should of, could of is irrelevant in the end. That’s just life.

I have no doubt that some of these feelings will resurface from time to time. Occasions of one sort or another may make me think about the way things actually happened or the way I wish they had been. But now they are much easier for me to deal with. I realize that while we both had our shortcomings, we actually did the very best that we could at the time. I have no way of knowing what was in his mind or heart in the past, but I am sure and always have been sure that he only wanted the best for me. That makes memories and resurfacing emotions much easier to allow, and to move through with love, forgiveness and blessings.

For me, it’s very important to remember that my memory is selective at best. My thoughts and emotions at the moment have always colored my memories and they always will. I can’t change the past, so I choose to appreciate and be grateful for the lessons I have learned. I choose to live in the moment. At the moment I choose to feel good. I choose to forgive myself and others. I choose to love. I choose peace at last.

I wish you a day of forgiving and allowing yourself to be forgiven. I wish you a day of love and blessings. I wish you a day of peace.

Warmly,
Sandy