Welcoming Joy Into Your Life

Good morning! Happy Sunday and may it be a day of grace for you each. I am overflowing with emotion today and want to share it. It is deep gratitude, which is coming forth as joy, so wish to discuss this as my topic.

The dictionary defines joy as a very glad feeling, happiness, great pleasure, or delight. For me, joy manifests when I am at peace with myself and the world around me, and I am feeling grateful for everything. That is how I feel this morning. Joy is a place I live in most of the time nowadays. But it wasn’t always like this. Oh, no. Far from it.

I used to be an angry and bitter person, blaming others for my misery. I lived in that space for four decades. Then I got sober and through the course of keeping sober, began to be less angry and bitter, especially after I became able to forgive my parents. I gradually stopped blaming others when I learned that my feelings were my responsibility.

Really?? I had no idea that was the case! I started seeing that I often did the very things for which I was angry at others, so suddenly had less to be angry at them for, and more to be responsible for how I felt about it all. Blaming went away as I learned to do a continual check of my actions and behaviors, correcting bad behavior when it occurred.

At some point in sobriety, I began to be grateful. I think it happened a couple of years after I forgave my parents. It started with being grateful I woke up every morning and grew from there. Today, I find myself being in great gratitude for all my experiences, the easy and the difficult, as it all contains a lesson for my growth. This alone is enough reason to express joy.

Joy is intensified as I observe all the miracles around me… in nature, in others, and in myself. It is the end result of an ongoing celebration of life. It is a wonderful place to live!

How about you? Do you experience joy in your life? If you don’t, what is in your way? Your anger and bitterness… the blaming of others that you do, the looking to another to provide your happiness rather than providing it for yourself? These are all things that will rob you of joy in your life. Learn to do it differently, without the negative emotions and behaviors, and you, too, can experience joy.

Share

How to Practice Honesty

Good morning and happy Thursday! May this be a great day for each of you! Today’s search that got my attention was “how can I practice honesty?” Allow me to address this from my perspective…

When you think about honesty, you are most likely thinking about not lying to others, not cheating, and not stealing. These are all behaviors to practice which lead you to be an honest person. But there is more to honesty than that.

Consider that honesty can be expanded to include how you share what you are thinking or feeling at any given moment. When you keep quiet if you are angry or hurt, for example, you are not displaying honesty. The solution is to speak up in a matter-of-fact way, without attacking the other person or making them wrong, and letting them know what you are feeling. You may want to take some time to process your feelings first.

It also has to do with being honest with yourself about your actions and behaviors. This is very difficult for many of us. We have trouble admitting to less-than-stellar behavior. Yet, to be considered an honest person, you must look at and admit to your non-perfect behavior, your bad behavior.

We all have it, you know. We all act poorly at times. You are not the only one. That’s because we are human beings with feelings and often don’t know how to deal with those feelings. And practicing honesty has to do with owning your negative behavior, apologizing when indicated.

This is another slant on honesty, and I hope it provides food for thought for you.

Share

Coping with Despair

Well, hello! It has been several days since I have written, and many of you continued to visit; thank you for that. Today’s search term was despair… how to cope with it, so I will discuss that, with a bit of a twist of hope.

When you are in the grips of despair, you feel hopeless, like nothing is worth it, that things cannot get better. You are listless and depressed… It is difficult to hear that things can be any different, and, yet, they can be.

It is possible to rise above despair, to get through it, past it. I am living testimony to that, and if what I’m going to say worked for me, it can work for you.

The bottom line is, to get through despair, it is necessary to refocus your attention on another who is in need, another who is hurting. It is necessary to drag your attention to the other person, thinking of how you can be useful to them by sharing about your pain.

First, identify why you are feeling despair. Write it down, list the reasons out. Get it all out on paper. Then look for the ways in which you are feeling self-pity, ways in which you are feeling like a victim. Choose to look for a way out, a way to feel better.

Next, write down one thing you have done that makes you feel better, one thing for which you are grateful. Is it getting a cup of coffee every morning? Does that lift your spirits? Find that one thing for which you can be grateful, that one thing that makes your heart sing.

Then seek out someone else who is feeling down, feeling despair for the same or similar reasons that you are feeling despair. Go to them and let them know what worked for you to feel better, even if you felt better for just a second. Let them know of the one reason you were grateful in the midst of your despair. Share this humbly, not with an attitude of, “look at me. You need to do this, too.” Share with gentleness. Simply share your story.

Notice the flicker of hope in their eyes, on their face, as you have given them hope, even a glimmer, that things can be better for them. When you notice this, know that you were the one who brought them some hope from their despair by sharing what helped you. Know that you got out of yourself long enough to be of use to another.

This is your way out of despair. Keep being of use to others, one person at a time, and you will notice that you begin to feel more hope and less despair, simply by being grateful for one thing and then being of service to one other person.

 

Share

Forgiveness for the Substance Abuser

Forgiveness and Healing for the Substance Abuser

Apart from receiving the professional medical help they need to recover, a person who has experienced addiction needs emotional and spiritual healing also. They may feel many negative emotions about themselves and other people around them, see themselves as failures or undeserving of our love.

It is important for them to forgive themselves and to actively understand that they are in turn forgiven by those closest to them who were the most hurt by their behavior. This barrier to full recovery must and can be overcome. This can be as difficult a road to travel as that of physical recovery from addiction, but when true forgiveness takes place in our hearts and in the heart of the person we love and who is getting better, then healing can and does take place.

This is such a wonderful journey, this way back to full health, physical and emotional, mental and spiritual, a joy to see someone you thought was lost to you returned. Our hopes can be re-awakened and we can look to the future again, just as our loved one now has a future to walk towards.

With the forgiveness and the healing come a state of being that we all desire, that of a deep inner peace and tranquility which shines out of us and touches everything and everyone around us.

I would like to invite you all to open your hearts and minds to the miracle of healing that can take place and wish for you all that state of grace which comes from true reconciliation with ourselves and the world around us.

************

Eve is a freelance writer, mother of two and has a passion for hiking.

This concludes the post by our special guest blogger, Eve Pearson.

Share

How to Offer Support for Substance Abuse

Good morning after a period of silence. I needed some down time, I guess. I am back, wishing you a beautiful Sunday!

Today and tomorrow, I am offering the writing of Eve Pearce, who speaks to the issue of substance/drug abuse. She offers a heart-felt way to approach people who are addicted, and so our topic for the day is “support for substance abuse.” Here’s Eve…

Living a Life Free of Substance Abuse

Good morning to you all and welcome to another day on this wonderful journey of life. I have been blessed in the last few days with a real insight into some of life’s trials and tribulations. I would like to share with you today my thoughts about addiction after talking to a dear friend in Boston earlier this week.

Substance abuse is a terrible thing to have to cope with; it takes an addict into a world that most of us, thank goodness, know nothing of. Before we judge someone and condemn them for having fallen into this trap, it is good to take a step back and put ourselves in their situation. We don’t know how or why they arrived at the point they did or whether we would have done the same if we were walking their path.

Someone who becomes an addict has often travelled a lonely road; a road of sorrow, loss or despair which takes them from what we think of as a normal life into one that has no hope and little joy. How can we, as heart-full people, be angered or judgmental about this? Rather we should feel their pain and see their injury; understand that they are very alone and deserve our understanding and forgiveness, especially when it is someone close to us, perhaps a member of our family or a friend.

Finding Help and Support

We should look for ways that we can show love to that person; can we help them, support them in finding an exit from their troubles. Sometimes caring can make enough difference to that person for them to look for the door out of their situation. We can throw out a lifeline of love and acceptance which can quite literally save that person’s life; we can help them to turn their life around and find hope and happiness again – a future. Of course caring by itself may not be enough. Sometimes professional help is needed: counseling; drug rehabilitation, spending some time in a center which specializes in helping people back to a normal drug-free life. Although it is sad that we have a need for these places in the world, it is good to know that there is help available when we need it. Massachusetts drug rehabilitation center listings give details of all the centers across state which offer support to people who have an addiction, either as an outpatient or as an inpatient on a residential abuse treatment program. I was so glad to be able to support my friend in their hour of need and truly hope that their family member will recover fully.

***************

Eve is a freelance writer, mother of two and has a passion for hiking.

Join Eve tomorrow when she talks about offering forgiveness to the person with a substance abuse problem.

 

Share

How to Practice Honesty

Good morning everyone, and top of the day to you on this lovely Memorial Day Weekend! The search term was “how to practice honesty,” and today I’m going to address this and the ways in which honesty can show up for you in your life.

When I refer to honesty, I am certainly including being honest and not cheating, lying, or stealing. Yet, I want to address the ways in which to practice honesty with yourself and others about who you really are, what you really feel.

Do you avoid looking at yourself and owning your behavior, both positive and negative? This was me for my life until I had many years in sobriety. The issue was, I just couldn’t be honest with myself about who I was and what I’d done. I was terrified to do so, and too ashamed. And I certainly couldn’t see my good points.

Gradually, as I learned to manage my fear, I began to be able to take an honest look at myself, owning my behavior, my actions, my words, owning my greatness. Can you relate? Am I describing you?

Consider this… do you shrink away from practicing honesty about who and what you really are because of fear of what you will find, because of shame, or because you just don’t know that’s your job? If you are doing these things, I suggest there’s another way…

I suggest there is the way of looking yourself right in the eye, in the heart, and openly admitting to yourself exactly who and what you are. Some of this means admitting to your strengths, your beauty, your good points, your greatness. No more pretending to be small. Practice honesty!

Spend some time making a list of all your strong traits, all the things that make you a grand person. Don’t play small. Really sing your praises. Sit with that list when you’re done and just “be” with who and what you are at your core. Then, take a period of 3-4 days and track every good thought, word, and deed you had during that 3-4 days. Practice honesty about who you really are. Revel in your kindness, your goodness. Know that no one can take that away from you.

Then make a list of your not-so-good points, the times you were selfish, or arrogant, or unkind to others. Spend time being honest about this. Then, take a 3-4 day time period and consider all the unkind and mean things you thought, said, or did during that time period and list them out. You will have a list of areas for improvement.

This is an excellent time to practice honesty, as you list out even the things for which you hold shame or embarrassment. Apologize for harms done to others in order to set the slate clean. Then, move forward and try to improve upon that part of yourself.

So, practice honesty by performing a self-appraisal and really looking at your positive and negative points. When you are done, you will have an honest appraisal of yourself. You will discover more peace as a result of this appraisal.

 

 

Share

The Five Stages of Grief and Sorrow

Good morning to each of you and a huge thank you for continuing to visit my site, even in the absence of new posts. May you have a wonderful day and a fabulous weekend. There were several search terms about sorrow and despair, and I’d like to discuss sorrow, or grief, and the five stages of recovery.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined five stages of grief as it applies to death and dying. These stages occur at your own rate, and often show up like a “dance,” with gentle flowing from one stage to the next, back again to the second stage, skipping one or two, then back to one again, etc. Grief is such an individual process that each of you grieves uniquely.

In this discussion about grief and sorrow, I am expanding loss to be anything from a death of a loved one, to the death of a pet, the loss of a job (even if it’s your choice), a move, and loss of a relationship of any sort (even if you left). Anything that leads to the change in the familiar is a loss and needs to be grieved.

Here are the five stages, as defined by Kubler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In the denial stage, you cannot see that what is happening is real, and have difficulty grasping the situation. This stage is all about being in shock and not being able to respond much.

In anger, you are mad at the situation, as well as at the person that is/has leaving/left you, even if they died. Many of you may feel guilty for getting angry at a dying person, yet, that is typical to be mad that they are leaving you, that they did not take better care of themselves, etc. In the case of a move or loss of a job, even if you initiated these, anger hits when you mourn the loss of the familiar, and you get angry at yourself for making the change into the unknown.

Bargaining shows up and often is a plea to God, or whatever the power is you defer to that is bigger than yourself. “If only you’ll let Susie live, I will change xyz, I will be good…” The next stage is depression and this is quite normal to enter a state of depression for a period of time in response to your loss. Be aware, however, if it becomes prolonged or if it affects your ability to eat and sleep for long periods of time, or if you become suicidal. In these cases, seek the care of a physician to determine if you are clinically depressed and in need of medication.

The final stage is acceptance, as you realize you cannot change what has occurred. In this stage, you are not saying that you think everything is okay, yet, you accept things are as they are. You finally gain some peace from the situation and are able to move forward with your life.

That’s a summary of the five stages of grief and sorrow, as defined by Kubler-Ross. Tomorrow, I will talk about another philosophy of grief and sorrow that is related to loss.

Share

How to Deal with Injustice

Hello and good morning to all! May this be the beginning of a glorious week! Today, I am going to share about dealing with injustice.

I am reading the book Forgive For Good by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University. First of all, let me say that if you are dealing with emotional pain from an injustice of any sort, I highly recommend this book. Dr. Luskin sheds lots of light on what we do in these situations that are harmful to us.

In the book, he talks about how we react to injustice, whether that is having to stand in line a long time, getting snarled up in traffic, being the recipient of abuse, or dealing with the death of a child. All are an injustice, and he talks about how we create misery for ourselves by our response.

We set ourselves on a path of pain when we take the injustice personally, blame the offender for feelings that are our responsibility, and tell a grievance story over and over again. Let’s look at each of these, as there is a way to have peace in your heart, even though the injustice may be difficult to deal with.

Dr. Luskin relays that we can feel the pain of the personal injustice and then move on to realize we are not alone, that many others have dealt with the same injustice. Furthermore, the offender rarely intended to hurt the other person. When we realize these things, we can allow the personal and impersonal to exist side-by-side.

There is a caution about not feeling an injustice personally, which is often denial of the situation, a minimizing of what happened. This is cautioned against.

The next thing we do which causes our misery is to blame the offender for our feelings. The thing is, we are responsible for our own feelings in the present, and blaming someone for something they did in the past prevents us from moving beyond the injustice. When we blame the other, we give away our power to someone who most likely doesn’t care about us, and certainly does not have our best interest at heart.

The third thing we do that creates our misery is to tell a grievance story. This is when we tell the story of how awful it was over and over again. Do you do that? Do you know others who do? The problem with this is, it sets our fight-or-flight response into motion automatically, leading to stress chemicals, which can be harmful to us, being released into the body.

Dr. Luskin talks about remedies for these three things. First, as I said, recognize the personal and impersonal aspects of an injustice and let them co-exist. Secondly, take full responsibility for your feelings in the present, without blaming another for them. Become willing to explore your pain, to feel it, so it can move through you.

What you resist, persists, and you want to feel your feelings so, as I said, they can move through you. Journal about them as a release, or talk to someone about them, but don’t keep them bottled up. Thirdly, look at the story you tell yourself or others about the injustice. Are you simply reporting the facts, or are you telling it in an emotionally-charged way, embellishing upon how awful it was, blaming the offender?

The more you practice just relaying the facts, the less charge the story will have and the less misery and pain will be generated.

How do you deal with injustice? Can you practice the above suggestions to minimize your pain, your misery? I hope you can and that you can relieve any suffering you are experiencing.

 

Share

How to Get Past Childhood Resentments

Good morning to each of you and I hope the day is wonderful for you! Today’s search term was “childhood resentments,” and that is what I shall address.

My first thought when I read this was that most all of us have them because most all of us were slighted in some way when we were children. Our parents, perhaps wounded themselves, not over those wounds, did the same things to us that were done to them. The result is most likely verbal, physical, and/or emotional abuse.

Are you angry and bitter about incidents that occurred when you were growing up? Do you suffer from the effects of childhood resentments? There are some things you can do to remedy being eaten up inside over these feelings.

First of all, admit to your feelings of anger and bitterness. Identify what happened and with whom you are resentful. Allow yourself to remember the incident(s) and how bad it was. Just “be” with those feelings.

Next, after acknowledging your feelings, consider how they are affecting you in your life. Are your relationships in a shambles, for example? Do you get angry at others frequently? Do you think and rethink of the occurrences from childhood, while they eat you up inside? Do you suffer from high blood pressure, or have you been told you are at risk for that, heart attack, stroke, or even cancer?

There is a way through this dilemma you face. Once you have considered that hanging onto childhood resentments is slowly killing you and/or making your life miserable, become willing to consider something else.

Become willing to see the person who harmed you as a wounded human being themselves, and unhealed from those wounds. Consider that they bear scars beyond your understanding. Once you can see them as wounded, view them with compassion, just as you would any wounded being.

Revisit this compassion again and again, and after a while, you will notice that from compassion flows forgiveness. You will begin to feel your childhood resentments fade as you discover a new-found understanding of your parents’ own difficulties.

Now you can begin to realize that what was told to you was said by a sick person, and that it wasn’t true. You can begin to heal from all that was told to you in error, told by a wounded person.

You will most likely find at this point that you are softening to the memory of the harms that you endured. You will never forget them, but you will soften to them, be less resentful.

And that’s one way to deal with childhood resentments, to see the person with compassion and to offer forgiveness. If you try my suggestion, how did it work for you? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

Share

How to Show Gratitude When Life Is Difficult

Good morning to you each and may you have a very happy day, filled with gratitude! That is our topic for today… gratitude. It was one of the search terms and I always can talk about it.

Gratitude is defined by Webster as a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received. So, how does one show gratitude?

It’s all well and good when you are in a joyful mood, when things are going well for you. In those situations, gratitude is easy to demonstrate. It is easy to be grateful when life is going along well. Yu can merely sing the praises of everything around and in you that is joyous. But what about when the chips are down, when things are not so good in your life?

The thing about being grateful when life is difficult is that by showing a little gratitude, it expands into more, and the difficulties you are experiencing seem to minimize themselves.

What you focus on, you manifest. So, if you focus on something positive, positivity has a chance to show up. Gratitude is just that… focusing on something positive in your life. It can exist alongside of the negative that is happening. For example, “xyz” is bad right now, and, I am grateful for “abc.”

In my own life, things are slow in the speaking area. I don’t have any gigs planned and I need some. I am in the process of contacting all the local churches in the area, letting them know of my talk. No one has responded yet with a “yes.” Although somewhat discouraged by this, I am grateful there are so many churches in my area to whom I can reach out. I am grateful I have the time to contact them, grateful I have the time to work on my talk. That’s how gratitude is showing up in my life in relation to my speaking engagements.

How is it showing up for you in your life? What are you grateful for? Is life pretty tough right now and all you can show gratitude for is your sight, your hearing? Be grateful for those; start at that point and it will grow from there.

If you are struggling and can’t seem to get out of a quagmire, the feeling that you’re sinking, I invite you to make use of my coaching services. I have a coaching program that is six weeks long; it’s three sessions designed to jump-start you into positivity. Gratitude is simply one of the many things we discuss.

To access this program, I start with a free, 30-minute discovery phone call. It’s a way for you to verbalize what is happening in your life so you can feel supported in your difficulty. I leave you with one or more ways you can look at or do things differently so you can get relief. I also relay to you how we can continue to work together, if what I say resonates with you.

Simply call me at 415-8838325 to schedule your free discovery session. Or, you can email me at carolyncjjones@yahoo.com. Either way, I would be delighted to work with you so you can find relief.

 

Share