The Gift of Regret

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Today my grand twins turn the same age that I was when my daughter was born.  Eeks.  Enjoy life while it’s happening folks, and don’t wait till you get the end of it to look back and ask yourself where it all went!

Somehow I managed to make it to this end of life in once piece—maybe a little worse for wear, perhaps, but still functional nonetheless.  When I was younger, my goal was to get to my sunset years and be able to look back and say that I reached the end with no regrets.  Honestly?  I have to admit that I didn’t quite make it to my goal because there are a few of them sprinkled throughout my life.  Those regrets are the parts and pieces of myself that are woven into the tapestry of my life.  I see them not as regrets, but as badges of honor, for they are to be revered for the gifts that they have given, the lessons they have taught, the forgiveness they have brought.

Regrets are reminders that sometimes goals are set but not met, that failure to achieve the desire of one’s heart is not a failure at all, but a signal that perhaps the heart needs to go in a different direction.  Disappointment is a fork in the road that points to an opportunity to either redirect desire onto a new path, or to let go and walk away.  Throughout my lifetime, I have taken both roads.  Often, I have asked myself, is walking away giving up?  Or is it the Soul suggesting that the correction of a wrong choice might be a preferred option?  Perhaps there are no wrong choices, but rather opportunities to engage our free will in the play of trial and error until we get it right.

There are times when I allowed self-doubt to stop me from pursuing the desires of my heart because I lacked the faith in my ability to pull it off, whatever it was.  And there were times when I was struck with a flash of inspiration and charged ahead full steam and became so immersed in pursuing my dream that there was no room for self-doubt to sneak in to undermine my plan.

A friend recently told me about Allison Hadden, a motivational speaker engaged in a battle with cancer, who says, “As scary as it is to accept, all of us are going to die – yet none of us know when. It’s time we start confronting this reality and living life like there’s no time to waste.” If ever there were a poster child for pursuing purpose, she would be it.  Clearly, she is not daunted by her illness, but instead is using it to inspire others, and she is not giving up.

Nor have I given up on my one primary vision in this lifetime—to live life in a way that would ultimately lead me out of the quagmire of ego and personality, and into the peace and calm of a heart and soul centered life.  That vision has led me down many a garden path—some strewn with lilies, some with thorns, but every road taken has led me one step closer to my destination.  I am grateful for the thorny roads, for they have led to the realization that a path of lilies is a path of true joy.  Never give up on your dreams, dear ones.  Hasten as ye go for there is no time to waste.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Sound of Guidance

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I hopped into the car with my big bowl of fruit salad and headed off to into the countryside to enjoy a nice visit with family.  I had been forewarned of road closures and was well armed with careful instructions and my trusty GPS which soon gave out, leaving me with an ominous feeling of lostness along with a sense of mounting panic.

At a red light I saw my granddaughter hanging out of the passenger’s window of my daughter’s car frantically waving to get my attention.  Ahh. Saved.  They’ll know where we are going.  The light changed and off we go, but a white pickup truck wedged itself between the two of us, and while she raced ahead, he poked.  I had a few expletives deleted going on in my head as I willed him to hurry up, get out of my way, or disappear himself off on the next turn.  It didn’t happen.  He just stuck like a turtle on molasses while my daughter disappeared off into the distance.

Finally, things seemed to improve until we came upon an unexpected road closure and had to turn around and detour around the detour without any detour signs.  All of us had lost GPS as well as reliable phone communication.  Meanwhile, I still haven’t lost that $#$@#$ pickup.  By now it is obvious that we are all hopelessly lost on country roads and I have lost any hope that we will ever get where we’re going.

Then, miraculously, we come across another granddaughter who joins the caravan and leads us safely to our destination where we arrive over a half an hour late.  Damned white pickup is still with us.  We park, get out of our cars in various states of temperament ranging from anger to hysteria.  Mine was hysteria when I discovered that white-truck guy is my former son-in-law.  I’ve been mentally screaming at him, while he was mentally screaming at my daughter trying to tell her that she was going the wrong way.  Another family adventure to laugh about for years to come.

In my morning-after armchair recap, it occurs to me that sometimes I have gone along in life blindly putting my faith in a leader who is clueless.  Sometimes I turn my power over to another who I think might know more than I do, giving my authority away to someone who may not have the best interests of myself or others at heart.  Sometimes I place my misdirected anger at some poor unsuspecting soul who is just trying to get to his own destination while I am prodding from behind urging him to hurry up, willing him to go somewhere, anywhere to get out of my way.  Sometimes I make a lot of assumptions, make a lot of mistakes, and take a lot of wrong turns.

Too often in life I have placed my faith in external systems like GPS—a Global Positioning System—rather than in my own personal GPS—Guidance Protection Service.  In searching for a destination, my external system failed, but my internal system guided me to “accidentally” find my family caravan and arrive safely at our destination.

Let this be a lesson to me to relax, trust, and remember that even though I may think otherwise, I am never lost.  I am always guided and protected by loving Beings who do indeed have my best interests are heart and whose intention and purpose it is to guide me safely to my destination.   However in the world does have enough gratitude to say thank you for such a blessing?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

 

Power Over the Storm

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We survived Hurricane What’s-Her-Name (who can pronounce Isaias?) and its demise was amazing.  Howling winds and water every which-way suddenly stopped dead and turned off like a faucet cutting off the cold water, while the hot water faucet turned on the sunshine.  It was quite astounding—a wonder to behold.  No lingering aftereffects whatsoever, if you don’t count the poor folks left without power and the accompanying tornado.

I wish I could do that with my attitude.  I’ve been doing more than my usual amount of soul searching lately, sifting through the debris of a mind cluttered with a whole bunch of stuff that I’d rather not have to see or acknowledge.  The willingness to delve into the depths of the soul is not always an adventure for the faint of heart, but hey—in my world, it’s what makes life worth living because it’s where I find the really good stuff once the not so good is cleared away.

Amidst my morning ponderings of such things, I came upon an email that smacked me in the face with the mother of all annoyances—being given unsolicited advice and/or told what to do, particularly when I already know what to do and have every intention of doing it.  Sigh.  What is that, exactly?  Is it because I assume that the perpetrator thinks that I am not savvy enough to figure out something for myself?  Do I think my intelligence has been insulted?  Am I the only one who gets her knickers in a twist about such things?

The howling winds of ego swirl around and threaten my peace of mind, pummeling me with a flood of unpredictable, uncontrollable fury.  Maybe I react so strongly because I am blind to the possibility that I am guilty of such behavior myself.  Maybe my head is stuck in the sand again about all sorts of behavior that I’d rather not see.   The lingering aftereffects of such an ego outburst leave me feeling powerless over my own wayward emotions.

Well, maybe I’ve plucked just a little from the Writer’s Handbook of Exaggeration for Effect.  I confess, I’m not really as out of control as I make myself sound.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty cool most of the time, which is why, when something comes up that twists my knickers, it catches me off guard and seems worse that it actually is.  It’s just that as I travel along the path toward spiritual enlightenment, sometimes dirty laundry pops up to be washed and hung out in the sunshine to dry and blow in a gentle breeze for a while.  The part about squeezing through the wringer can be a little ouchy, but once I make it out into the light, a whole new joyous and wonderfully delicious world awaits.

One of these days, the winds will diminish to a gentle, calming breeze and I’ll realize beyond a shadow of a doubt that my light is lit by the Source of All That Is and that there is nothing in the world that can turn it off.  Every now and then, I catch a glimpse of what lies ahead, and trust me—it’s worth every ouchy.  Howling winds and lingering aftereffects vanish are replaced by power beyond measure.

Somewhere along the line, I must have signed up for the journey of a lifetime, and amidst my travels, I have discovered that it truly is the only trip worth taking. It can be a pretty wild ride, but I have some very reliable, devoted, tour guides who will never leave me, nor let me lose my way, even when I stop somewhere along the way to stick my head in the sand.  How blessed am I?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Food for the Soul

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I just ate an entire bag of spinach and a pile of sliced mushrooms for dinner.  It all went into a skillet and looked like a mountain of food—well maybe more like a molehill—but it all sautéed down to about a medium-sized serving of spaghetti and meatballs and not surprisingly, I have overfed myself.  Or as my friend likes to say, I am sufficiently suffonsified.  Emphasis on the fon.  Suf-FON-si-fied.

Clearly, I never miss an opportunity to feed my body, albeit tonight with a rather odd combination of food, courtesy of the sparse contents of the fridge.  Healthwise, I guess it beats a burger, fries, and a side of fried mozzarella with a chocolate shake to wash it down.  Well, at least I opted for spinach instead of running away from home in search of something greasy and fried.  It’s a start . . .

Lately though, I’ve noticed that I’ve been on a bit of a downslide, not doing the things I should, and doing things that I shouldn’t.  More zoning out in front of screens, less blogging, for example, and yes, I see that I am shoulding all over myself.  I shouldn’t be doing that.

For the past few days I’ve observed myself as I do a backward drift into temptation.  Netflix and restaurants have called to say they miss me and threaten to drag me off course and back into old habits that I am working hard to view from the safety of my rear view mirror.  I was doing really, really well there for a while, but sometimes it’s a little hard to hear the sound of sanity over the voice of a screaming appetite deprived of satisfaction.

Obviously, I’m totally committed to feeding the vehicle that walks me around and needs to be gassed up now and then to keep itself moving.  I’m forever quick to feed the body, but what about the care and feeding of the soul?  What good is a body that is full if it walks around with a soul that is empty?

I suspect that my backslide is the direct result of a neglected soul starving for the pleasure of my company.  When my commitment slips, when I fail to tend to the needs of my soul, when I take it for granted, or skip meditation, I deprive myself of the enormous benefit of the rich nutrients that lie hidden within.

There is a a vein of gold inside each one of us awaiting discovery.  The soul, Self, Higher Self, True Self, whatever one may wish to call it, exists whether we acknowledge it or not.  It is a patient, kind, gentle, healing Voice that provides an answer to every question and a solution to every problem, if we will but ask, listen, and follow its wisdom.  It exists even when we deny it and walk away, and it welcomes us home when we wake up and return.  It is the truest, eternal, and most faithful friend that we will ever have.  Feed it well with love, appreciation, and gratitude and it will raise you to heights you never dreamed possible.  Wake up and remember.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Crooked Path Home

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Back in the day when I thought that I was God’s gift to the world, the idea of living a spiritually-based life was unthinkable.  I saw it as being just about the most pathetic excuse for a life on the planet.  Where’s the excitement?  Where’s the glamor?  Where’s the fun?  Who would even consider living such a life, besides a priest, or a nun perhaps?  And even then—why?  Nope.  Not for me.   B-o-r-i-n-g.

Then smack dab in the height of my ego trip, I began to notice ever so slowly, in dribbles and drabs, in little bits and pieces, that stuff began to happen.  Stuff that caught me by surprise, that shook up my foundations, that rattled my cage, exploded my highfalutin concept of myself, and sent me off into a dark night of the soul.  Humpty fell off the wall and smashed to smithereens.  Ouch.

My search for an escape from the darkness led me down countless avenues of exploration to find a way out.  It was a long and arduous journey, but of one thing I was absolutely certain: I had no choice.  I had to find a way out.  I suppose that a trip to the depths of despair might happen to everyone at one point or another, either in this lifetime, the last, or the next.  This one was mine.  My trip down into the pits provided the incentive that I needed to give myself a good, swift kick in the butt and make a commitment to find my way out.  Not until I was fully ensconced in the dark did the search for light begin.

Fast forward to now—and wow—what a difference a dark night of the soul makes!  I’m a whole new me, a makeover of my former self waving goodbye to the last vestiges of an ego trip that ran me on a merry chase in search of all that I thought was good, cool, fun, worth living for, protecting, and guarding with my very life.

Decades later, Humpty is reassembled and sitting happily back up on the wall.  True, it took a while, but the wait was worth it because as each tiny little piece of me was glued back in its proper place, an inner joy filled in the cracks and all that is left is the beautiful, smooth surface of a healed soul at peace with itself and with the world.

Goodbye ego, goodbye glamor, goodbye excitement, and fun.  Hello peace, contentment, hello joy beyond measure.  Having lived in one place and another, and if given a choice for the rest of eternity, I’ll choose another every time.  The glamor of the ego cannot begin to compete with the indescribable ecstasy of striving to live life as a Soul.

The journey toward the Soul is the adventure of a lifetime.  It is a rocky ride made smooth by mighty and powerful forces that help us along the way.  I would not trade one inch of my life’s path, because no matter how crooked the road I chose, it was always made straight.  There are no wrong decisions, because each choice leads us that much closer to what is right.  Every fork offers an option and every option is an opportunity to learn, grow, and experience the benefits and consequences of our choices.  There no wrong turns, there are no mistakes; we are gifted with an abundance of time, opportunity, and do-overs to get it right.  We live in a universe populated by loving, Wise Ones who hold our hands as we travel our path, and guide us through treacherous shoals home to the safety of our souls.  I cannot imagine wanting anything more than that.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).