Change

Don’t Just “Get Through” It

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What are we always waiting for that we think is better than what we have right now? I want to do more than just “get through” the day, the work-week, the school year, college, the kids college, the daily chores, and my whole life up until retirement.

Today I stopped and looked – just looked – at my children and absorbed them into my heart, just as they were in that ordinary moment. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.

I don’t want to retire from living until the life has left my body. Every moment carries a possibility of igniting the passion that leads to the meaning of life.

Keep your hart and soul open to the sparks. Photo: Dantada, Morguefile.com
Keep your heart and soul open to the sparks. Photo: Dantada, Morguefile.com

Being open to these possibilities, I’ve learned, requires practice and attention. It involves keeping the heart open.

A few years ago I was sick for five months. The worst part was being unable to take care of my children, who were young. The daily chores that used to be mundane and annoying to me were not an option now. I felt helpless. As a mother of small children, helpless is maybe the worst feeling you could have. But I was still well enough to do laundry. My folding those clothes took on new meaning for me. I did it religiously. It was my great act of love for my family, and I was grateful, at the time, that I could even do it since I couldn’t do all that much else for them.

When I do housework now, having been restored to full health, I have this new perspective about it. Do I forget and complain sometimes? Sure. But I have this opportunity now, to be alive, in love and gratitude, when I am doing housework, rather than just getting through it.

– copyright Lisa C. DeLuca, November 2013. All rights reserved. Please do not copy this work without permission of the author. Contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com

Yes, but Does it Feel Right to You?

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You said what you said. You did what you did. Does it feel right? Is it you? Or were you doing that to please someone else?

The biggest source of regret I see is when people ignore or squelch their instincts, rather than act on them. Usually this is done to please someone else, or to keep the peace, or out of fear of expressing yourself and being judged by other people. And it usually feels really bad inside you. And you try to swallow that.

One day I realized I am stopping me. Then I got up and started living my dream. Photo: Sanja Gjenero, sxc.hu
One day I realized I was the one stopping me from living my dream. Then I got up and started my life. Photo: Sanja Gjenero, sxc.hu

Then when your bad feelings get worse, you have to live with the fact that you knew better. You knew. But you ignored your inner wisdom.

What’s stopping you from doing or saying what you know is inside of you? How do you cope with the angst that results from squelching yourself? Are you overweight? Sick? Depressed?

Revealing your true feelings, or just being yourself involves risk. Will someone get mad at you? Reject you? Blame you? Make fun?

Start with the premise that your gut instincts are there for a reason. They are important information about you and the meaning of your life. There is nothing awful about you that needs to be hidden. There is beauty there that is meant to be expressed. Of course, if you’ve done wrong you can make amends and don’t do those things again. Now is a new moment.

If you don’t know how to do or say what you really mean in a way that won’t be destructive or hurtful to yourself or someone else, get help. See a therapist. Read The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner. Take a course in self-empowerment. You only have one life to live. Live it now.

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. Please do not reprint or distribute my work without permission. If you would like to use my work in any form, other than linking to it, please contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a intended as  personal mental health advice.

Say the Good Stuff

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Sometimes I am overwhelmed by a good feeling toward someone else, I want to say it, but my first reaction is to keep it in. I’ve learned to override that destructive, self-protective instinct and express what is on my heart.

If you suddenly feel warm feelings of love or pride towards your children, say it out loud. If you are humbled that your spouse has been there for you for all of these years, tell him. If your friend did something that inspired you, give her credit and let her know that she had an impact on you.

Say what is in your heart, with words and actions. Photo by: Cheryl Empey, Sxc.hu
Say what is in your heart, with words and actions. Photo by: Cheryl Empey, Sxc.hu

Here’s an idea: do it with strangers too. Verbalize the compliment that came into your head about them.

I am no longer surprised to notice how absolutely starved so many people are for positive praise. In our consumer-driven entitled society, so many of us are quick to complain about how others aren’t pleasing us. We don’t spare the criticism in our own self-talk either. This is not good.

Sharing the positives has a way of turning things around for everyone involved.

There comes a time when it is too late. At that point, all that was left unsaid can haunt us relentlessly. Say what you need to say. Do it now.

 

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. Please do not reprint or distribute my work without permission. If you would like to use my work in any form, other than linking to it, please contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a substitute for personal mental health advice.

Are you Stuck or is it Just a Setback?

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Do you feel stuck? Is it because you truly are not progressing, or are you simply having a setback?

Take a look at  Portia Nelson’s Autobiography in Five Short Chapters. (When you get to the Wikipedia page, scroll down and you will see the poem.) This poem will help you understand where you are in your journey of change; whether you are truly stuck or whether you simply need to be more patient with yourself.

So many people get frustrated and give up because they can’t see the progress they have made, they only see the things that haven’t changed. That’s ok, it’s just a sign that you really want the changes you are seeking! That mindframe will help you as long as you don’t let it de-motivate you.

The ocean has been here a long time but new waves splash the shore each day. Photo by: Sias van Schalkwyk, Sxc.hu
The ocean has been here a long time but new waves splash the shore each day. Photo by: Sias van Schalkwyk, Sxc.hu

Change is a gradual process. Sometimes you don’t realize how far you have come because you forget where you came from. Keeping a journal can be a visual record of the changes you have made. In the absence of that, where are you in the Autobiography in Five Short Chapters? What chapter are you in?

If you are in any chapter but the first it means you are progressing. Setbacks are a natural part of growth. If you are having a setback, it is proof, like an indicator, that you have made progress, because there can be no backward motion if there had not been  advancement.

If you are truly stuck, you may need to seek help, or open yourself up to something new.

If not, don’t try so hard, you can’t force change. Accept and own the change you have made. Accept and value who and where you are right at this moment in time. You are ok as you are. You will continue to progress if you can also love and accept yourself as you are, at the same time that you seek change.

Share your wisdom, leave a comment:-)

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. Please do not reprint or distribute my work without permission. If you would like to use my work in any form, other than linking to it, please contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a substitute for personal mental health advice.