In the Quiet with Gentleness

Good morning to each of you. May this day be a quiet one, filled with gentleness.

I really liked the search term, “in the quiet with gentleness.” It took me immediately to a place of serenity, of peace, and I felt my soul washed clean with the gentleness spoken of in the query. I am excited about the term, because it speaks so eloquently, yet simply, of the place where I live today, where you can live also.

When we have been on a journey of peace, searching for it, finding it, then we know quietness like never before. We have learned to see ourselves with gentleness, rather than the harshness of days past. We offer ourselves and others that gentleness, and it feels expansive in our soul. It is a deep knowingness that all is well.

How do we find the quiet with gentleness? We learn peace… peace with ourselves, peace with the world around us. We find forgiveness of others and ourselves; we actively seek this out. Our primary goal is to find that peace-of-mind and to live in grace, in gentleness. Ah, yes, gentleness is living in grace, that place of unearned favor, that quietness of the soul, where everything just flows smoothly.

This is a lovely place in which to live and I enjoy that place every day. But it wasn’t always this way. No, I used to be pretty hyper, very judgmental and critical, both of myself and others. I was angry and bitter, blaming everyone and everything for my woes. Then, after I found sobriety and worked at being sober in my life, I began to find forgiveness… of others and of myself and I began to live in gentleness of spirit, gentleness of soul.

It was a choice I made, to find that place of peace, that place of gentleness. You, too, can find that place. All it takes is willingness, and some work on your part. Let’s spend a couple of days and look at how to find that quiet place where gentleness resides. Over the next few days, I’ll write about the process I underwent in hopes that you, too, can find the place of gentleness, that place of quiet in your mind and spirit, you soul. Join me, won’t you?

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Living with Hope

Good morning! May you have a fruitful day, filled with the hope of living.

Several searches today had to do with hopelessness, and wanting some inspirational quotes about hope. While I do not have quotes, I do have a general way in which I talk about hope, and that is what I wish to share with you today.

Webster defines hope as a desire accompanied by expectation, a feeling that what is wanted will happen. Perhaps hopelessness occurs over the expectations we hold, and when they are not met, we become disappointed. Not knowing how to deal with or even recognize the fact that we are disappointed, we feel hopeless instead.

Let’s look at that a minute. We can have hope that things will turn out a certain way, and that’s where it needs to end. We hope, and then we let go of the outcome, willing to become pleasantly surprised if our hope is met. To add an expectation to the mix only invites disappointment to come when our hope is not met.

So, it seems the trouble lies in our expectations. I think this is so. Often, our expectations have to deal with how another will treat us, or how a situation will turn out. The fact is, we have no control over either – not how another will act nor how a situation will turn out. So, our expectations become unrealistic and we set ourselves up for a shattered hope, and out of that grows hopelessness.

We can avoid that scenario from happening by dropping our expectations. Just let them go. If the thing we hope for does not occur, then we can be disappointed and it does not go into deeper emotions. We do not need to dip into the realm of hopelessness. Instead, we can move forward in our lives to the next situation.

For example, I auditioned on Thursday for a chance to speak on someone’s stage for 20 minutes at a large networking event. This would be a wonderful opportunity for me to get my message of hope out to lots of people. I hope I am one of the six selected out of 35. And I truly hope for this. If it does not occur, I will be disappointed, yet, it will not crush me and I will not believe that life is hopeless, or I am hopeless, because I do not win.

Instead, I will acknowledge my disappointment, talk about it to a couple of people, and move on to the next opportunity when it comes along. In fact, I will create new opportunities to speak by taking action. This is relatively new behavior for me, as I spent most of my life hoping and expecting things to occur that didn’t, and when they didn’t, I became despairing and hopeless, bitter and cynical.

In present day, I realize that sometimes, what I want is not intended to be, that another opportunity will come along, something else that I do not know about currently. And I move forward. This attitude is new in sobriety… I learned to live this way in sobriety. It is a softer and more gentle way to live, believe me.

I can have an expectation and be bitterly disappointed or hopeless when it doesn’t occur, or, I can look forward with hope and when something doesn’t happen as I had hoped, I can look forward to the next opportunity to come along. It is my choice; I choose the latter as a way to live. I choose to live with hope in my life.

How about you? What are the expectations you are placing on your hope? Can you learn to hope and let go of the outcome?

 

 

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Four Keys of Forgiveness: The Pathway to Peace

The Image From the CD cover

Hello, all! Here is my wish for you to have a beautiful day!

Today I want to tell you about a project in which I am involved. It is the creation of a course on forgiveness, titled Four Keys of Forgiveness: The Pathway to PeaceThis course is three hours long, and will be offered as a down-loadable mp3, or as a CD set. A workbook accompanies the course, so you get the complete experience and benefit of working with me to gain forgiveness.

This is an exciting thing for me! I am so thrilled to be offering you the course, which is filled with content and golden nuggets. I believe it will be of great use to those that listen to it.

Last week, I finished the work at the recording studio. The recording engineer, Ben Lienbach, recorded himself giving me the introduction and then I come on and start the talk. We had very few mistakes that needed to be corrected, and I had an awesome experience with Ben. He is amazing!

Now, I am in contact with the company that will duplicate and print on the CD’s themselves and make the copies. Meanwhile, I designed the front and back covers, and sent the design to Greg Daley to duplicate in a graphics program. You’re looking at the photo I used as the base of the cover, which has white printing on it..

All of this has been really fun, and it has been really expensive. I have joined Kickstarter to try to get funding for the project, and now I turn to you, my faithful readers, and ask you to visit my kickstarter page. If you like what you see and if it resonates with you, would you be so kind as to help me out with a pledge? I have until the 30th, Sunday, to get pledges.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carolyncjjones/four-keys-of-forgiveness-the-pathway-to-peace

Thank you so much for your support, and your faithfulness in visiting my site. May peace be in your life and may you find forgiveness for those who have hurt you.

 

 

 

 

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The Best Way to Overcome Low Self-Esteem

Good morning! May you each have a lovely and profitable day. Today’s term that caught my eye deals with overcoming a low self-esteem. There are a couple of things you can do to increase your self-esteem.

The first thing to do to overcome a low self-esteem is to consider what you are telling yourself about yourself. When you identify these things, consider where they came from, i.e., who told you that you were these things? Consider, point-by-point, if what you were told about yourself is true. Usually, what you were told were lies, told by someone who was unhealed or insecure themselves.

Once you recognize these things you were told that were not true, begin to tell yourself the truth, and when the negative self-talk reappears, gently talk yourself past the negativity by reminding yourself that the person who said those things was wrong.

The next thing you can do to overcome low self-esteem is to make a list f all of your positive points. Fill two standard-sized pages of paper, 8 1/2 x 11. Be creative. If you are having difficulty coming up with positive attributes, google positive character traits and see the lists that come up. See which apply to you and write them down on your list.

When you have compiled your list, simply “be” with the positivity of who you are for three days. Then, make a list of all the things you did for others in the past three days that were kind, generous, and loving. Once that list is completed, “be” with it for three days. The point is, you are trying to imbed in your heart, your soul, that you are a good person with merit.

The final thing you can do to raise your self-esteem is to do esteem-able acts. Be of service to another. Get out of yourself for even a short period of time and do something nice for another. Help them out. Talk to them. Volunteer. The point is, be of service to another, in whatever manner feels comfortable for you.

Once you do all of these things, your self-esteem will begin to improve. When it slips, as it will do, remind yourself of your positive points and attributes, and do something for someone else. You will find that your self-esteem improves.

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Blaming Others for Your Sadness

Good morning, all! May this be a fabulous day for you!

I say that, and yet, from your search terms, I recognize that there are those of you who read this blog who are feeling sad, or worthless, or just plain down. Having a good day is far from your grasp… you think. Or is it?

In the search term for today, “blaming others for my sadness,” lies the clue to continued difficulty. You see, when you blame others for your sadness, you are looking in the wrong direction. You are looking outside of yourself, when it is far more productive and appropriate to be looking within.

You may avoid looking within, as it is painful to discover what it there… painful to see your hurts, your pains of life. And, yet, it is the only way to happiness. I’d like to say that once you deal with those pains, what lies on the other side is magnificent. Peace, happiness, and freedom lie on the other side of pain, sadness, and despair.

I invite you to consider that you have the task of being responsible only for yourself, no one else. It is your task in life to look within yourself for managing your feelings yourself, not blaming others for your woes.

For example, I spent 38 years blaming my parents and everyone else for my upset feelings, but when I started looking inside and taking responsibility for my own feelings, my own healing, the result was discovering how I was creating my own pain, my own sadness. When I stopped putting that on others and started healing myself by, for example, seeing a therapist, writing about my feelings, reading books about my wounds, I began to feel so much better about myself and feelings of peace and happiness started.

You can learn to manage your own feelings instead of blaming others for them. We each have the responsibility to make our own happiness through our thoughts, our action, our behaviors. Take as your challenge the task of doing that, of looking within for your happiness, focusing on yourself instead of another.

They don’t make you unhappy; you make yourself unhappy by your thoughts about what is going on. So, focus today on yourself, and take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. Manage them by owning them, expressing them. Look within for your happiness instead of blaming others. When you stop blaming others, you will experience so much peace and freedom in your life. I invite you to own your feelings, and stop blaming others. Leave a comment and let us know how that is going.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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