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  • #41430
    Matt
    Participant

    Kim,

    I really enjoy they way you’re looking at the experiences you’ve had. On one hand, there is the tragic crumbling of family which would wound even the strongest heart. On the other, you’re looking at the pieces and wondering how to heal. This is such a great place to be, because with a little courage and determination to reclaim your inner peace, transformation can occur! A few things came to heat as I read your words.

    When we become wounded, the body starts working immediately, naturally to heal. When we experience loss, grief is the body’s way of trying to let go, accept, and recalibrate itself to the new path. It can be very painful and isolating, and takes time to settle. What you’re experiencing is normal, usual and unavoidable. Don’t despair, however, because there is always a path to joy. Wounds of the heart are healed most directly by forgiveness.

    Buddha described anger as a hot ember we grasp with the intention of throwing it at someone, but it is our hand that gets burned. Anger arises like a spear in our mind.. thoughts that sharpen and stab at others. For instance, “some hussy sluts her way in and destroys my family? I wanna kick that wench in the hooha.” It feels like it would right the wrong, to payback the injustice with justice. However, all the anger really does is burn away our happiness. Anger is fiery and corrosive, painful to the body, and produces a feeling of isolation.

    So, it is something we look deeply into and set down. It is very usual for you to be pissed off at the ex husband and his wife, because so much of what happened was done with a callous disregard for your feelings. I’m sorry it happened that way for you, dear sister, and your feelings do matter. Your heart was betrayed in many ways, in both the affair, the way he handled the divorce, how you were booted out of your close connections… your pain is very reasonable. Your anger has causes, and because the situation was so twisted, it is tough to untangle them.

    So, forgiveness is something we summon within us and create. We don’t have to wait for it to just randomly blossom some day, instead, we can act in a way that helps us forgive the trespasses against us. Remember, this is not about them, this is about you. Forgiveness is what will help you find the joy you’re seeking. Said differently, when there is genuine forgiveness, the pieces of you which are stuck in the past, pulling your mind back into painful cycles will release, and all that energy will rejoin you in the present moment. Then you’ll be free!

    As tender as I wish to be, the band-aid has to come off. Its time to dig in your heels, take a stand, and let go… which will happen by wishing them well. With as much sincerity as you can (grit your teeth if needed, but try… this is to reclaim your joy!) “May he and his wife be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to them. May they always meet with spiritual success. May they have patience, courage, understanding and determination to meet and overcome their problems, difficulties and failures in life. May they always rise above them with morality, integrity, forgiveness, mindfulness and wisdom.” See how violent the mind becomes? That force is what keeps you from peace, from love, from wisdom.

    The release is from a practice called metta. Its a pali word for loving kindness, or the warm and tender sense that arises in us as we wish all living beings well. The self help books won’t do it, the seeking and searching won’t create it… its already in you deeply and profoundly, it just doesn’t arise because of all the layers of anger that rest on top of it. Consider the following practice, which is a guided meditation that helps free the mind from hatred and delusion:

    I know how ugly and uncomfortable hate can be, and with some continued effort from you, the goddess inside will rekindle and find her dance again. Its said that forgiveness is divine, and that’s not because of some wishy washy notion of gaining favor with some heavenly father. As we forgive, we reclaim our inherent divinity, touch inside us the force of love that pours into all beings, whether they are a sweet baby cooing or an ex husband who was emotionally abusive. That is them, their bodies. In us, there is divinity, because love is strong and settled independent of how they treat each other or how they treat us. That’s when our wings can spread, receiving divine love like a sail received the wind, and each step becomes full of warm gratitude for the beauty that flows through and around us. Namaste, sister, may the light and love be yours.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #41383
    Katie
    Participant

    I would really appreciate your opinion on what I’ve been going through recently.

    My boyfriend and I are 22, have been together since freshman year of college- going on four years. We have many differences, but we are reflections of each others strengths and weaknesses. I value his perspective, and I know he values my own.

    But it seems that we have been disagreeing about fundamental things recently, which scares me that we may not as be compatible as I would like to believe.

    For instance, last night we had a lengthy conversation about compassion. Compassion is something that I have worked through. It has been very tough at times to practice compassion towards others, but more critically–myself. It is a very essential value to me, because it allows for self-love and gratitude. But he sees it differently; he thinks that compassion is weakness. That compassion is just an excuse. There is no reason to feel sympathy because it does no good. That it causes the poor and impoverish to stay on welfare. He thinks that all that those people need to do is to “work harder” and that will take them out of the situation. But No– I disagree. Because I have volunteered in developing countries, and have heard the stories of the unfortunate. It’s not anything that they can just snap out of. They are a product of their environment, their influences, and their attitude (shaped by others). Working harder is not the answer. Telling someone that does no good. But by practicing compassion you can help them. I honestly believe that.

    But it doesn’t matter– we just have a difference of opinion there. The only thing that scares me is that I actually will need compassion sometime in our relationship. Because mistakes happen and to get past them I need compassion. He needs tough love; I need sympathy. Very different ways of handling hardships. And our future children will need compassion so that they grow up knowing that its okay to be vulnerable.

    Speaking of children…we’ve had this talk before. I want two children- I can tell I have the motherly instincts and I know that I’ll be a wonderful mother in the future. He- on the other hand- is not for them. He says that he could suffer through having one. I realize that most men don’t want kids until they are older. But what if he doesn’t? What if having kids makes him miserable? I would never want him to go through that- and plus I wouldn’t want a partner that isn’t excited about having kids. It shouldn’t be a deal breaker, right? That’s what I keep telling myself.

    Okay and here comes the final facet of this complex situation. Last night (yes, it was a veryyy long night), he told me that he a crush on my best friend. And he left it at that. It’s just a crush. It may be just a physical thing. That’s what he thinks.

    She is a very positive person, very attractive, very fitness oriented (which align with his goals right now), and I think he’s just infatuated. But my friend and I have been close for four years, and he’s known her for that long as well. It wasn’t until the last two years that the three of us got really close. We have gone on vacations before, just the three of us and I’ve never been concerned because they are both very trustworthy people, and of course I was the middleman. Then two months ago they went on a trip–it was a marathon race in a different state– by themselves (i had work, i couldn’t go). They stayed in a hotel room together, and I thought it was very trusting of me to let them go, and be okay that they were so close. Nothing happened. So it was all good.

    But when he told me how he felt last night, it makes me feel scared. There is nothing holding them back from being together. They are both really great people. And I know that he loves me and that we are best friends…but couldn’t they develop it as well?

    He said that he told me because he wanted to be honest with me. I appreciate that. But at what point do I decide what to do? Do I let time figure this thing out?

    Am I overthinking this? I know that I’ve covered a lot of different issues here. But I can’t talk about this to anyone. I don’t want my friends of family to have a skewed perception of my boyfriend because everyone loves him and I don’t want to involve anyone in our issues. Maybe an outsider’s perspective will help.

    Thanks.

    #41275
    Zenhen
    Participant

    Matt,

    5) Don’t be afraid of making the same mistakes, you won’t. You’ll make new ones. Ha ha!

    This brought the biggest smile to my face! I cracked up so hard. Hearing this actually brought great relief! I don’t have a problem with mistakes just the same ones.

    The post was long because I just felt like it was all a mess. I didn’t really know where to start. This really brought a lot of clarity and greater understanding of my situation. I really appreciate the insight, especially about the sex drive. I never thought of it as something that would remain even after the shame fades. I am slowly learning to embrace the drive and also my need for emotional connection and intimacy. These things don’t make me weak.

    I am glad that your wife was able to open up. Deep down that is what I hope for him, even if it is not with me. I also know how it feels to not let anyone in. It is just sad to see someone closed off because he is not only closed off to me but to himself. I will present this to him. I hope he wants to step up. I know we both need to do what it takes to nurture a healthy relationship and there are things I need to let go of and things I need to let in too.

    Btw thanks for introducing me to Ajahn Brahm. I have listened to three talks by him and have been so uplifted. I really appreciate it!

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Zenhen

    Billy
    Participant

    There are some times when you find yourself in a situation that’s like the straw that broke the camel’s back, like a drop that overfilled the glass. Since my childhood I lived a very lousy life,with a lot of problems,loneliness,pain ,abuse etc. But miraculously I’ve always managed to go through everything without losing hope. To get to the point, it’s been three years now that I’ve had a problem I can’t deal with whatsoever. One of the terrible aspects of my life is the family I was born in. Just to keep the story short I’m the fourth child(girl) of a five children family and I’ve been havind bad relationship with my little sister since I can remember. She is the fifth and last child so my parents spoiled her very much whereas they have been very cruel with me.Just an exemple of the uneven treatment is that they always beat me up as the older one to the point that it would take days for my wounds to heal but they never laid a hand on her. So despite of growing up feeling this kind of injustice in everything I always loved her and was a caring sister. But as we were growing up she developed a very selfish personality with no respect and gratitude for me . At some point when we were still living together I didn’t talk to her for a whole year due to my impotence to deal with her disregard and harshness towards me.

    When my father gave me no choice but to leave home I was relieved a lot from my family’s burden but I had to go through horrible times to stand on my feet and feel for the first time a little bit free.But at that point, almost three years ago, something happened that may seem stupid to a lot of people but it has turned into an obsession for me for the last three years. During all the previous years and all of the suffering that I have endured in almost every aspect of my life ,because when you start your life badly it goes on worse due to one problem causing the other, I never holded a grudge and never resented god or hated any person that hurt me because one dream kept me alive. I had been dreaming from the early years that one day I would be travelling all around the world,away from all the people that brought upon me so much pain because back then it was the only thing nobody cared about, no one wanted it , no one knew how great it would be so it was the only escape possible for me,exactly because all of the people that were suffocating me would not be there. The big mistake was that I got so hung up on it that I didn’t see how I was developing my own weakness because as I realized later, the things we need end up owning us. So what happened?? My little sister met a wonderful guy, he is successful, handsome and loves her very much. So what are the chances?? He loves travelling and his job includes a paid trip every 6 months so he always takes my sister with him and she always brings souvenirs home( she lives with my mother so I always see them when visiting) and now her dream has become travelling the world and she speaks about it all the time.

    So this is the situation in general. My problem is that since it started I have completely lost my mind. Suddenly all the pain that I’ve been repressing in me has turned into hatred,rage and I feel out of control. After that I cry every day as if I’ll cry all I haven’t cried all my life.I can’t sleep,I see it in my nightmares.Any time I hear somebody talking about trips or see something relevant on tv, it makes my stomach move. Now I feel disgust about the thing that holded me through the years so now I feel like collapsing. I don’t recognize myself anymore,all the bad things I’m considering doing in order to restore this injustice since life or god or whoever does nothing about it. What makes me furious is that I find no sufficient answer to this injustice,which I am absolutely aware that represents all the unfair things that I’ve seen in my and in others’ life.I mean how is it possible that I have been always a good person, I have fought so much against evil and I have suffered so much through the best years of a person’s life keeping the FAITH alive and my sister, a selfish,spoiled and ungrateful person who lives only to indulge her whims gets so beautiful things, worthy people to love her and what’s aggravating my rage is that she is LIVING MY DREAM!!!!! Even at this moment, while I’m writing, I feel my hands wanting to smother her.

    It’s been three years and I can’t find any remedy to cure myself.Every day I feel worse, I can’t move on because I’m stuck, this hate is asphyxiating me.I can’t cope with this injustice. I can see a meaning in life taking something away from me but why did it have to be specificly the only person I hate, I mean why???? Why do I have to keep my faith strong and my hops up when it’s all meaningless,when goodness makes no sense,when you rarely get a chance to avenge your pain.This question has torn me apart,it’s eating away at me slowly and patiently a single piece every day, I feel sicker before my helplessness to react. I can’t react because I can do no harm,because I can’t show it hurts me because she will feel even better, It’s like the only thing I can do, to ACCEPT it, it’s the only thing I CAN’T do.

    I’m so sorry for my rumbling for so long,it’s my first time I share this story with someone ,since I have no friends, and I tried to keep it as short as possible. Anyone who would be interested to answer, please don’t waste your energy in platitudes,in patronizing or condescending advice. No offence to anyone but only an inspired recommendation can do any good to a person to who death seems the only answer any more!!

    #39091

    In reply to: Preemptive Apologies

    Matt
    Participant

    John,

    The cause of stress, anxiety and worry is always attachment, as described by the Buddha’s description of the four noble truths. In the case where we worry that our words are doing harm, we have a desire for our words to have an effect in the other. It might be more closeness, their growth, their validation that we are good people. Those are all hindrances.

    Instead, we can breathe in and breathe out. We listen, do our best to speak truly, kindly and meaningfully, and then let the seeds go. When we worry, we are preoccupied by the infinite potential of how that moment of exchange may look from their side. This makes our next breath more of a gasp, as we try to draw in peace of mind from the other.

    What we give up is the need to appear favorable to others. Sometimes what feels best to say is shocking or painful to those we say it to. If said from compassion, then it is truly our best effort, and how could we do better? Sometimes a shock will awaken the sleeper inside.

    Remember that the Buddha taught different things to different people. The dharma is a universal vibration, but adaptive. A hungry man needs food, a thirsty man needs water, and egoic know-it-all needs a stick. Compassion is the willingness to give hugs or slaps depending on what our heart inspires us to do… even when the other may not enjoy what is done.

    I have been slapped many times by teachers, and at the time I recoiled and cursed, called them names and demonized them in my mind. After the recoil, there was gratitude, because they did the right thing… and I was a little closer to freedom each time.

    Obviously, we don’t just go around beating people up… our heartfelt expression is the anti-suffering to their suffering. We open to the moment, breathe it in and give it back on the outbreath. Then again. Then again. There is no need to get in the way. If our out breath contains self-grasping, we’ll know it because it is painful for us. So we do the same thing for ourselves… breathe in the pain, accept the self-grasping, and let it go. The self settles, the pain subsides, and the energy of the dharma flows again. With each time we let go, we get cleaner, more attuned to the eight fold path, and closer to the freedom for ourselves and everyone else.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #38989
    Victoria F.
    Participant

    Hi Eric,

    Your story about pigeons made me giggle a little bit; but I suppose even those damn birds deserve happiness too! You’re very right that children change a little more readily than their parents because naturally we are still growing into the people we want to be, and typically the older you get the more slowed that process has become (for some anyways). I guess if I think of it that way, my mother has been around far longer than I have and that generally means my level of adaptability is higher, so rather than beat my head against the wall trying to get her to see how she affects me, it is likely easier for me to control myself and how I let the situation affect me.

    It really is a multi-faceted entity, this relationship with my mother. While I obviously love her because she is my mother, I lose patience with her easily. I find myself thinking that if she were my friend, I wouldn’t enjoy maintaining a relationship with her. And then naturally I feel guilty for that thought. And then I have bouts of compassion for her and sympathy for the fact that her mind is beyond her control at times. Does everyone have these ups and downs with parents? I guess when you eventually become an equal adult like your parents it would be natural to have clashing like that.

    I am in Canada myself (though my family is from the UK interestingly enough!) but I will look at this website, thank you! I’ve been searching for resources within my city online as well; support always seems to be around for those who search for it.

    With gratitude,
    Victoria

    #38893
    Victoria F.
    Participant

    Hi Tim,

    You’re definitely right that text is so limiting in what I’m trying to express, but thank you for reading and replying anyways. I think the idea of speaking to someone who has a parent with bipolar would be beneficial. Having someone to relate to always decreases the isolation and frustration I feel. Though, I’m not particularly sure where I would find someone to talk to. Perhaps internet forums like this one? I don’t suppose you know of any mental health resources off hand? Your support is really appreciated; I feel cared for by strangers and it’s rather touching.

    With gratitude,
    Victoria

    #38866
    Matt
    Participant

    Crissy,

    I’m deeply moved by your response, and your gratitude was clear ringing as a bell. You’re welcome, and I am glad we connected! A few things came to heart as I read your words.

    In terms of holistic health, it really depends on what speaks to you. Its said that selenite crystals resonate with an angelic healing energy, and when I used to feel isolated and down, I would hold one in each hand and did feel the emotion settle. Over time, as I began to meditate more frequently, they became unnecessary as Buddhist styles of meditation are very profoundly helpful in settling emotions. Depending on how thick the icky is, it might help you get started (like crutches for a sprained ankle.)

    Another thing that might really help is if you become a reiki healer. With traumas like ours, there are sometimes lots of root, sacral and crown chakra issues that being able to self soothe with direct energy healing is beneficial. Or, you can lightly trace spirals with your finger tips (almost not touching the skin) around your legs, pelvis, navel and head. This can help areas we’ve put to sleep to protect ourselves. If you have a partner, and you have a stable intimacy, they could also do that for you. Reiki would personally be my first choice however, and the method would be taught during the class.

    As for the self sabotaging, that means different things to different people. There are some great books out there on positive self talk. If you’re referring to the all or nothing perfection or worthless behavior, that’s a vacillation that will dismantle as the patterns of shame dismantle. Said differently, when we have a block in our crown, instead of feeling confident humility no matter what result we see, we vibrate between shame (when we feel we failed/dislike the results) and pride (when we feel we succeeded/like the results). The pride/shame knot inhibits the nourishment we get from our creation. I don’t want to dive too deep into all of that, its already a lot to take in! 🙂

    Remember to be patient. You’re worth taking the time to heal, and step by step the clouds will part. The sun shines, the rain falls, the grass grows, the flowers bloom. Namaste.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #38858
    Crissy
    Participant

    Matt,
    I wish I could truly express my gratitude for the kind, helpful, touching and insightful words you have shared with me. For the first time in my life I truly feel not alone. You described to a T the way I’ve been feeling. The saying “A weight off my chest” is how I feel after reading your words. I’ve never felt this before, I’ve been carrying the same heavy weight around for as long as I can remember until now. I feel great relief.

    I’ve never interacted with people the way I notice people interact, especially in a group setting. I’ve never really been able to express and share my ideas, I’ve always had trouble expressing myself. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, but now I can make some sense of it. I remember often people disliking me and thinking I was a bad person and I couldn’t understand why, but now I see I was just seriously misunderstood due to my lack of expression and the fact I was carrying around so many dark secrets.

    I know exactly what you’re talking about, when I was being molested as a child, I too went back to my abuser. And when I was sexually assaulted as a young teen, I again went back to my abuser because this person was one of the only “friends” I had at the time. I had just moved to a new school and they were the first person to offer me ‘friendship’ and I thought because this person wanted to sleep with me it was love. I’ve pretty much grasped the concept that it was not. After I finally cut this person off, he pretty much turned everyone against me at school, telling them I was a whore etc. etc. I struggled with the fact that I kept going back to this person after what they had done to me the first time, and the fact that i let it happen a number of other times after that.

    I have opened up to people but when it comes to the sexual assault… Sadly many people do not understand. They can’t understand why I went back. But your words have really helped me understand it much better and I know that I am not alone and I now know there is a path to heal, to get unstuck from the pain.

    And I get what you mean about the boundaries. This is something I don’t do that I will start doing, today. I’m always asking people what they want/need and I never express my own wants/needs and I’ve noticed this frustrates people. Others really take advantage of it and before I know it I’m doing something I totally do not have any desire to do.

    I am going to take your suggestions and check out the TED talk and the movie as well, I know it’s different to see you have healing to do and to actually take action to heal. Like you said it takes courage.

    I have not been able to really open up and have a good free flowing conversation in a long time, purely because of fear. It’s sometimes a struggle and I feel restless, that tastelessness you’re taking about, when it comes to knowing I’m going to have to communicate and often times it’ll stop me from doing anything where I’ll be in a group setting, but I do always feel better when I try than when I just stay alone.

    I’ve been looking into holistic solutions to heal my PTSD and if you have any suggestions about this I would love to hear them! And also how I can stop the self-sabotaging behavior I’ve developed.

    Namaste.
    In love and light,
    Crissy

    #37166
    Sabrina Bolin
    Participant

    Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for sharing so openly here…that takes courage, and I hope you have taken a moment to recognize that you have that inside (even if it is hard to see it).

    I agree with so much that Danubelle has shared above, especially in the acceptance of the impermanence of it.

    Life is always changing, in every single moment, and the Universe is merciful enough to give us infinite new moments to make new choices and to experience new things if we are open to it.

    The only antidote to the ego’s paralyzing voice is the voice of love. It is your intuition, and it is within you. Listen to her – she is the voice that reminds you that you are PERFECT. You are love. Your life is meaningful. Your actions are worthwhile.

    Allow yourself to practice hearing this voice in as many new moments as you can.

    I use the word “practice” as that is what it is – not a magic pill, not an overnight change, but a knowing that you are connected to and supported by Infinite love and that the more you allow your spirit to remember this, the easier it will become.

    Another practice that really helps me is writing a daily gratitude list (I do mine nightly in my journal). You might just start with one thing, but again, with consistency and practice, this too will become easier where you will find gratitude for those things that might surprise you. I have even found myself writing gratitude for opportunities to grow – a fight with my boyfriend is an ideal example (because choosing to learn and grow gives that event meaning).

    The more you practice, the more you’ll find that even on those days where you may have felt crappy, you can see the flickers of light in your day.

    Please let me know if any questions, and I’ll be sending you so much love in the meantime.

    ~Sabrina
    http://www.mymiboso.com/

    #36713

    In reply to: positive thinking help

    Ella
    Participant

    That’s lovely that you are able to get through to people in your job, I bet so many of them are grateful to have spent some time with somebody who really cares 🙂 and you are right, you are most definitely above those who do not care about helping out a good cause. I also think that those who have more than a lot of people yet do not care tend to lack gratitude for all the things they do have. These types of people will never be truly happy because the happiness they experience is superficial and materialistic. However, the people who experience your kindness will gain so much more and this will stay with them. Whilst this will probably not make you feel better when dealing with the negative types, maybe it’s something to think about?

    PinkPaper
    Participant

    Hi,
    My story begins with meeting a future husband at the age of 18, getting engaged and married by the age of 23. I have ALWAYS wanted children and was ready to start straight away. However, my husband wasn’t ready. In fact, when we got together at the age of 18, he told me he never wanted to get married and never wanted kids. I said to him that I want both those things and that if he wanted to be with me then he’d have to want those things as well.

    As you can see, he was happy to go down the marriage path, but was more reluctant to embark on the path of children. He asked me to wait until I could wait no longer then we’d have kids. So fast forward 9 years, we had our gorgeous son. I was 32 years of age. Following my son’s very difficult birth, my husband went AWOL emotionally. My marriage was always difficult as he suffered from anxiety/depression and our marriage had, as a result, become about him and his needs. Suddenly with the birth of our son, our marriage was no longer about him and he couldn’t cope.  Unfortunately, our marriage didn’t survive.

    I have since met another man, and we married in March this year. He is an amazing man, loving, generous…all the things I have ever wanted in a life partner. He is helping me raise my son (who also sees his actual father every second weekend) and I am helping him raise his daughter.

    Herein is the snag: When my new husband and I first got together, he asked me if I wanted more children. I said I wasn’t sure as I’d been through so much in the last few years and I was tired. About 12 months after that I told him that I did want another child and we agreed to start trying. Then we hit a problem for a brief while (unrelated), so while we worked through it we put the baby making on hold. About 6 months later, I approached him again about having another child and he’d changed his mind 🙁

    We weren’t married at this point, but we were engaged and living together, and planning our wedding. He told me that he’s changed his mind, he was done with having children and wanted to focus on raising the two we had. He also said that the issue of children is a dealbreaker, that if I wanted to be with him then that was it for my childbearing (he didn’t use those words though).

    I thought I was OK with it. I didn’t want to lose him. I didn’t want to give up the family we’d worked hard to create. I had to think about the two children we have between u,s and the big adjustments they have been through in adapting to being in a blended family.

    Fast forwarding again to today which 12 months down the track and following our recent wedding, I am consumed by the thought of another child. It is all I can think about. When I’m not thinking about it, I carry a huge lump of emotion in my stomach.

    I am desperately trying to focus on what I have now, not what I don’t have. I have a husband whom I adore and is an amazing man. I have a gorgeous 12 year old step daughter whom I have a fantastic, loving relationship with, and I have a handsome, gorgeous 6 year old son. I have a loving, supportive extended family, nieces, nephews, in laws etc and we have an enormous group of friends that we see and socialise with regularly. They have children that our children are growing up with, we all go camping together and I will always have someone to turn to in times of need. I am studying towards a new career of teaching primary students, and I am very excited about this. We are planning on doing a lot of travel with the children and we’ve already had some amazing holidays.

    Why, oh why, when my life is so full and so so wonderful, do I allow myself to be consumed by the thoughts of another baby?? Barring an accident, it isn’t going to happen for me. Even then an accident is unlikely as I’m approaching 40. I’m terrified of letting go of wanting a child and just living in today because that effectively shuts the door on my childbearing years. There’s no time for changing minds down the track. This is it, now or never.

    I know that I have been blessed more than many people.   I have some of friends that lost their chance at having children for a variety of reasons. One child is a far cry from none. One plus a step daughter whom I love and who loves me, is a far cry from being childless.

    I need to work on my gratitude.

    I’m going to start a gratitude journal and hope that by focussing on what I have and what I am grateful to have, then I may stop focussing on what I don’t have.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for me??

    (Sorry for the loooong post!!)

    Zoe
    Participant

    hello Amita,

    You sound very much like me. The opinion of others around me defined who I was for a very long time. I started to become different people. When I was around my parents, I was “polite” and happy and wore “respectful” clothes. I also would wear something that would make me look thinner because they were always on my back about my weight. I was then different people around different groups of friends, and even was a different person around my boyfriend. I was never satisfied because everytime I met someone, I would take what they had and tried to “fit in” and be like them when I knew I would see them again. I guess we all fall into this trap, because it’s basically impossible to not have some sort of attachment to approval energies because we want to be liked. That being said, it shouldn’t define your life. I am only 19 and the past 6 months I have gone through (what I call) an amazing journey of anxiety disorder. I still get moments of it, but it’s not as bad as what it was. I can still remember the day it started, and looking back now, nothing had actually “changed” as such, apart from my mental state, but boy was it a challenge. And that’s why I call it an amazing journey because it showed me who I am and was a path and journey my destiny was wanting me to face to come out the other side with a new perspective of myself.

    the biggest thing i’ve probably learnt from it all (which i’ve only discovered in the last month) is that your inner bully is responsible for a lot of my suffering, comparing, depressed states, upset, angry etc. Because when I look at it now, the only thing making me do these things is because my inner bully has told me “i’m not good enough” “that girl is prettier than you, you should feel sad” “your life isn’t going great, time to look at it negatively” and when i realised that my life isn’t bad, I love my life, I may not be the prettiest or skinniest but that didn’t define someone and any other negative stuff that came from my inner bully, I was just so angry at it! this person had been dictating my life and trying to make me see things the way I didn’t want to see them, or in that matter, were not true! A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulder because i was so subjective to all this negativity, even when i used to try and impress people, the only person telling me that was my inner bully. they were basically saying “you need to impress and change for these people, otherwise they will think differently of you” GOOD GOD!

    So on your path and journey, just take in your inner chit chat and ask yourself, is this true? or is this my inner bully pushing me around? i like to think of my inner bully as an alien who doesn’t understand planet earth, or me, or my life and just spits out random rubbish because it doesn’t understand.

    another thing is to try to not to “look” and “seek” for something too hard. When your trying to do something, you may be dissapointed every time you don’t find it. I did this for ages. I was just going in circles. But do things, and then reflect on them. How did you act? if i was another person, would I want to meet me?,

    another concept is to write down your values. And see if you are living buy them. These can be sentences, or just words. Some of mine were: see strength, feel compassion, inspire gratitude and share love. When you do these, you will definitely feel like your own person, because no one has the same values. They might be the same concepts, but people feel them differently.

    The biggest thing is to not compare yourself. What do you have, or what do you do or what can you bring to the world? and life is a journey, what ‘good’ are you going to leave behind when your life comes to an end? are you going to care and help people? are you going to make a person smile each day? are you going to meditate? are you going to put your rubbish in the bin?

    Most of all, just be kind to yourself. There is no set destination for finding yourself, because as we get older, we learn more and more. Just start off small. Only time will tell. You are the only version of you, and no one else can do what you can bring to life.

    Hope this helps
    xxx

    #36042
    Skywalk
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    I have done major research with LoA, on the conscious and subconscious mind in the past, but never really accomplished much with it because I would lose heart and revert back to previous thinking patterns, however this past month I decided to do put some major spiritual effort into some fantastic meditations and now truly understand that it is about living the moment after putting what we want out there. All I wanted was inner peace, because that’s the only starting point.

    The key is to be happy now and truly live in the present, regardless of whether its raining outside or that date cancels there is a reason for it. The keys to the kingdom are to embrace all that happens to us, because there is a greater reason beyond any challenge we encounter. The problem I used to have was that I couldn’t accept challenges, now I accept them for what they are and how they allow us to be better and grow.

    A few days ago after I had finished my 30 days I violently ill. I was sick, I had stomach cramps and major headache and flu like symptoms for about 12 hours, not to mention massive fear, huge fear. At first I was concerned that the meditations had some adverse effect, but then I realized it truly was a spiritual cleansing. I had also prayed for many people in my life and also practiced gratitude for all that I am.

    I did some research and it seemed to fit, many others had suffered the same, but also had the sense of immense peace soon after. I also noticed in the space of a few hours that there was a major shift from the fear I felt to peace in mind and heart. The room where I practice my meditation also had a warmth to it that I cannot describe. I felt a tranquility that I hadn’t felt in years. Is it possible that the final piece of the puzzle of inner peace had finally arrived?

    I believe so. I really do.

    The headaches were in my humble opinion my ego trying to hold onto to its position in my mind, but I feel I had pushed it aside. I feel more together, I can concentrate better. I am not sweating the past or anticipating the future. I am able to truly live the moment, and its an incredible feeling.

    So I say to all whether you are just beginning to find yourself or whether you have or are about to. Keep doing what you are doing because you don’t know how close you are to the next step.

    I’m not saying challenge is over. (Where’s the fun in that!?) All I am saying is that I am better positioned to accept and conquer these challenges.

    I hope each of you that reads this today gets something positive from this, and also has anyone else experienced anything like this? If so I’d love to hear your story.

    Thank you.

    Best,

    S.

    #35801
    kanaryteam
    Participant

    “Grief can destroy you –or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”
    -Dean Koontz, Odd Hours

    As some of you may already know we lost a vital member of the Kanary Team in February. Maureen Kanary lost her battle with an aggressive, metastatic form of small cell lung cancer. She was the main administrator, accounts receivable, muse and foundation of the Kanary Team for the passed 40 years. She will be dearly missed and her life will be celebrated through our gratitude for the zest, inspiration and generous nature of the matriarch of the Kanary family. In the aftermath of this loss we have all been faced with a vacuous hole in our lives where there once dwelled a mother, a wife, an aunt, a grangmother, a friend, a lover, a compatriot, a true leader and an example by which many now integrate virtues they’ve learned from her into their lives. She was an example of how love, generosity and a commitment to living excellently, prosperously and happily can unravel the mysteries of our time here on this earth.

    This loss was a proverbial weapon of mass destruction and the associated grief similar to the aftermath of such a weapon; hanging heavy in the air most days much like radiation fallout. While massive and destructive, I have managed to discover a very interesting aspect to this event and perhaps any and all obstacles or troubles I may face in the future; within this horror lies dormant light, dormant seeds of opportunity whose growth potential are dependent upon my personal ability to shift my perspective and choose the attitude with which I will approach these days of grieving.

    Maureen’s nature was to give until she could give no longer, to love, to forgive and to cherish all of those for whom she cared. She would expect nothing less than her soul and the life that she shared with us to be cherished by taking this experience as a lesson, a tool, and learning and developing from it. Learning to be more giving, more tolerant, more faithful and committed, more driven, more ambitious and more aware of the resources that this Universe has provided. More able to express myself creatively and, in turn, enjoy the rich tapestry of beauty that is all around me every day.

    You see, the death of Maureen may have prostrated me, caused resentments towards life, the Universe and whatever created it, caused more suffering than was necessary. Suffering is necessary but I have discovered that the depth and duration of it that I experience is a matter of choice, a matter of how I choose to respond to this personal cataclysm. The grieving process is natural, very personal and completely subjective. A process which should take time and energy, self-reflection and self-development. to me it is much like any negative emotional reaction or thought like fear for example, within which lies the seeds of excellence, personal development and growth. These times in our lives that are identified sometimes as ‘negative’ experiences are really not confined to that definition. While there is a negative side to it, there is also an awakening to the deeper beauty of her life, of our relationship and memories, an awakening to the beauty of life in general.

    These painful events need not prostrate you or set you off your path. They can be challenges, challenges designed to strengthen your resolve, reveal your deepest values, your character, your resilience, and provide the opportunity for you to further your life in the direction of your dreams. I can identify that my immediate primal reaction of fear, grief and pain was completely natural. I’ve allowed that to play out without stuffing emotions down, allowed myself to feel the pain right through to the end, allowed the tears to come whenever they came. I accepted the reality and, through acceptance, I have allowed myself to be authentic in response.

    It is through acceptance I am allowed freedom from the residual doubts and weight that this loss could have caused. It is not accepting, in denial or refusal, that creates conflict, creates division and divide which would magnify, intensify and prolong the grief and sorrow. Maureen’s death was a catalyst, the results of which are completely based on my personal choice. Months later, what it boils down to is perspective; from which side will I observe this? What will I learn from this? What will I do to evolve, develop my character and strengthen my resolve? How can this affect me positively? When I asked myself these questions the paradigm shifted, the sorrow lifted and clarity and direction was within my grasp. Asking these questions may feel as though you are not grieving, you are not valuing the loss but these questions, this personal development, this acceptance and progression, is the greatest possible way to value the beauty of the life that was shared because it is through acceptance and asking these courageous questions that you develop your consciousness and perspective to adopt the sancitity of what was and cherish it in the present moment. You allow yourself to see the great sacredness of that life in a flower petal, a sunrise or a child’s smile, thereby enriching your soul and paying a deep and universal homage to the life and love you shared.

    Nurture not the Emptiness but rejoice and fill your soul with the beauty around you.

    Create some Fire and Pass the Torch,

    The Kanary Team
    http://www.johnkanary.com

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