How Honest Are You?

As you can see, this gate’s image is Welds of Honesty. It was named this because when we are honest with ourselves about who and what we are, we become as strong as the weld on the gate. 

What do I mean when I say “… honest about who and what we are?” We frequently shy away from looking at our own behavior as the start of a feud or disagreement, etc, because we’re so busy blaming the other person. Right at that point is when we need to stop and do some serious self-investigation. 

Take a look at anything you might have said or done such that another is offended. Did they then do something to hurt you back as retaliation against your action, and you resent them for what they did? Take a look at this and determine if it fits your situation. If so, claim responsibility for what you said or did. Be humbled… not ashamed, not embarrassed. Rather, speak to the person and relay what you discovered upon your self-reflection. Then apologize as you would do any time you know you have hurt another. 

The key in honesty and in forging your strength and empowerment is to look at yourself first. Always. Look for ways you were hurtful, unkind, unloving, and maybe even mean. When you can own up to this behavior, you are free of self-judgment, as you realize this is you being a human being. The key is to learn from it and not repeat it, yet, if you do, you can catch it again. 

I end this piece with the statement that we set ourselves free and become highly empowered when we are honest as I described above. This is because we have seen ourselves at our worst and we know how to correct it. There is great power in knowing this. We know how to be a more kind and loving person.

I wish you well on your journey to be like the weld on the gate of honesty.  

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Giving Yourself Credit

This is a picture of the sacred home I created in a 1982 Dodge van/RV in 2001. I lived in this beautiful sanctuary with my cherished kitty, Maynard, for three years while I traveled and worked on my sobriety.

This is what I discovered while working on the van, defined as gutting all but the refrig, stove/oven, and cabinets, and then replacing the interior with cherry wood paneling and cherry trim boards. I wonder how many of the difficulties I had then still apply today…

  • I was much more able to do things than I gave myself credit for.
  • I had difficulty receiving praise and compliments about the job I did. 
  • It was after I sold the van that I really appreciated its sacredness. 

Today, there are times when I do not give myself enough credit, so this is a great reminder to do so. Where do you fall on the scale of 1 to 10, if 10 is giving yourself the most credit you possibly could? Aim for 10!

How are you on receiving praise and compliments? Do you talk down the praise? Or do you receive the love and take it in? Do you recognize it as love? You can use another’s praise of your endeavors to lead you to see what you do from a different perspective.  

We often have something in our lives, sometimes something beautiful. At times, we don’t fully appreciate it while we have it. I have come to really cherish the interior of the van and the job I did, especially the brightly varnished trim boards. Thankfully, I have close up pictures of these pieces of wood.

Today, when I think of that wood, so stunning in its mirror-like reflection from 9 coats of varnish, I am reverent. I am so grateful I had the skill and knowledge to produce what I did, and the awareness to appreciate it’s simple beauty. Where in your life are you reverent over your creations? 

If you have difficulty seeing your goodness and accepting praise, you can learn to focus on the things you appreciate about yourself. See it as a Divine skill you were given to develop and grow it in beauty. Learn to say “thank you” to people who praise you and bite your tongue after you utter those words. Soak it in! 

And finally, appreciate everything you have each day, as it may not be here tomorrow. Be focused on gratitude. Be reverent. Enjoy the peace that can come to you. 

To your peace, cj

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The Promise of Peace

Is your life filled with stress or frustration, or even resentment?

Are you at odds with yourself or others? 

What if you could discover a way to lessen your stress, resolve your resentment, and improve your relationships? 

It is possible to do all of these things. How so, you might ask? Here’s the scoop… When we are stressed, frustrated, resentful, and at odds with others and/or ourselves, we start telling our story about it. We tell our spouse or friend, someone we trust. We tell our sad story again and again and again… Frankly, we wear the listener out by repeating it over and over.  

We’ve all done it. I did it for 30 years as an adult. I had several tales of woe. Is this something you do, tell your tale of woe, your sad story, to others? If so, you can make the choice to look at your story differently.

Here is a technique to use. Ask and answer three questions: 1) What is the lesson from my experience? 2) What positive thing(s) did I learn? and 3) What can I be grateful for?

Promise of Peace

When you ask and answer these questions, you become empowered and empowering! You give permission to those who are telling their tale of woe to instead sing the song of a s/hero! And, you begin to see things from a fresh perspective. You discover peace.

If you choose to try this technique on your story, you can experience the promise of peace. That is the above image’s name. It appears as the final photograph in my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, because when you go through the process portrayed in the book, you gain peace.

I invite you to sing the song of a s/hero! I’d love to hear how this method worked for you. Please leave a comment and share with us what happened when you answered the three questions. 

To your peace, cj   

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How Committed Are You to Your Journey?

As you view the image below, titled Commitment of Journeynotice the path. It moves upward, each step covered in leaves… obstacles to the climb. At the top, the path curves and then, disappears.

We can imagine that the path has ended in nirvana, in another life after death or in eternal life. 

Each stair represents the stages of our lives, each stage scattered with leaves, debris that would stop us if it could. 

Yet, when we commit to the journey, we gain stamina and courage to get through the difficult things encountered in life’s stages. 

As you climb the stairway of life, may you develop your Commitment of Journey, and may it become a beautiful life for you.

When you become committed, you see everything with gratitude, with great awe and wonder, beauty. 

You live in grace.

If now is not the time to commit to your journey, when will it be…?

Happy travels. 

cj

 

Commitment of Journey from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. Copyright (c) 2010. Carolyn CJ Jones.

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Let’s Talk About Forgiveness!

Hello! Welcome to my blog! Today we’re going to talk about the free call I just attempted to conduct. It was Let’s Talk About Forgiveness Free Call. I was looking forward to sharing about forgiveness, dispelling myths, relaying how to find it, etc. Since there was no one on the call, I decided to blog about what I was going to discuss on the call. So…

Tiers of Forgiveness

Tiers of Forgiveness

For me, this image represents forgiveness. I took the photo, and named it Tiers of Forgiveness because forgiveness happens in tiers, in waves, or steps. It is not a linear process. The second reason I named it Tiers of Forgiveness is a play on words. You see, the ground cover in the photo is called baby tears. Often times, forgiveness includes the shedding of tears. It is a way of cleansing the heart and soul…

I was going to start the free call by discussing three myths. Here they are. First, you may refuse to forgive because that means you’re condoning what happened, condoning the offender’s actions or words. This is false. You forgive only to heal and mend your heart, your soul. It has nothing to do with the offender and they remain responsible and accountable for their behavior.

Second, you must forgive and forget. This is not a truth. In fact, it is also false. I have found in my own experience and the experience of many others that you won’t forget the incident, yet, you will remember it with a softer, more gentle heart. It will tug at your heart less, cause you less stress. And third, you must reconcile with the offender. This is not the case. You reconcile and continue to see and speak to them only if you choose. It is all up to you. This is why it is possible to forgive someone who has died and passed on.

Here are the three major myths that may be keeping you from considering forgiving. Come back to read about a powerful story of how one person reached forgiveness and changed their life forever…

 

 

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Experience A Burst of Joy In Your Life

Burst of Joy

Burst of Joy

I look upon this photo I took with great awe and wonder, as it so aptly demonstrates the burst of joy that I feel in my life today. Every day, I awaken and feel joy throughout the day, coming in waves to me as I experience one thing after another.

It wasn’t always this way, not even close. For those who know my story, you know I spent 40 years very angry and very bitter for my abusive upbringing. I blamed my parents for all my troubles, and I played the victim very well, thank you very much.

Through most of that 40 years, I drank and did drugs, numbing the pain the best way I knew how until one day, things blew up in my face and I hit my emotional bottom. Devastated and shattered, I finally found my way to sobriety. It has been the single-most thing in my life that has led to my sanity, to my joy.

When I first became sober and for the first year-and-a-half of sobriety, my feelings were excruciatingly painful, as all the incidents that led to my shame, worthlessness, and hopelessness were suddenly there, right in my face. I had to deal with them and in that process, I began to heal from old wounds.

Over time, with healing, I began to experience joy over things like a sunrise or sunset, an elderly couple holding hands, and my pet sleeping – at great peace. Each incident of joy was fleeting, and it wasn’t until I had more fully healed that I began to have joy throughout my day.

In my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, which is where this photo appears in print, I have titled the photo Burst of Joy and I say of my healing, my soothed soul, “I never thought this could happen! My heart bursts with joy!!!”

Perhaps you can see yourself in the way I was, and perhaps you are wanting to change that and to experience joy. The thing is, your heart can burst with joy also. In order for this to happen, start to see each experience in your life with gratitude, thankfulness, for these experiences have been brought to you as a means for you to look at painful issues and to heal from them. Doing this requires you be in the present moment as you go through your day. It involves seeing the world and your experiences with the eyes of innocence, like a child.

Gratitude is one of the two keys to finding joy, and as Ralph H. Blum says, “There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude… a quiet joy.” The other key is forgiveness and I will blog about that next Tuesday.

to your healing, cj

 

 

 

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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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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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The Benefits of Sobriety

Good morning to each of you. I neglected to post yesterday; it was another day that got off and running and I was running all day. These types of days are becoming more and more prevalent. That’s a good thing…  This morning’s search term that I am so fond of was “what are the good things you get from sobriety?” Ah, a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

When I think that I was severely hung over every day for seven years, and somewhat less severely for the preceding 20, it is a wonder that was not a deterrent for my excessive and massive consumption of alcohol! But it wasn’t. So, the most obvious and initial positive effect of sobriety is the lack of hang-overs. It’s glorious to wake up and be clear, no headache. Try it. It’s wonderful!

But the most positive effect from sobriety that you will enjoy is the healing of wounds, healing of emotional pain. This alone makes sobriety well worth it.

While working through those wounds, it will feel like sobriety is not worth it, that you were better off when you were drinking. But consider, sticking through the rough times in sobriety can reap you a reward so indescribably wonderful, I urge you to keep at it. When difficult emotions surface, which they will, think about how your sobriety will reap a big pay off soon.

Be with your emotions; let them flow through you. Allow them to be felt, which will allow them to move through you more quickly. Take note of the joy interspersed among the tough feelings, and look forward to the point when that joy returns, for it will.

When you discover emotional sobriety, you will know it in an instant. You will feel a tremendous calm settle over you. You will have a deep knowingness of peace and understanding of yourself and others. You will know you have arrived in a new dimension.

So, is sobriety worth it? Yes, without a doubt. Leave a message and share your experiences with the wonderful feeling of sobriety. We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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Is Sobriety Worth It?

Good morning to each of you and welcome to the start of a new day! I am once again drawn to the search term, “is sobriety worth it?”

Let me simply answer that question. The answer is yes, sobriety is absolutely worth it. That has been my experience, at any rate, and the experience of countless others in sobriety.

You may fear letting go of your good friend alcohol. You may wonder what in the world you ail use for entertainment, for relief from your hurts, your emotional pain. But consider, if you’re reading this, alcohol is no longer serving you, it is probably causing havoc in your life and you are searching for other ways to find relief.

If you are generating hell in your life and it is related to alcohol or drugs, you will find sobriety most appealing. Without alcohol or drugs, you will not have hangovers, a major benefit right from the start. As you sobriety progresses, you will discover things to do to entertain yourself – listen to music, read, visit with friends and family, exercise, write in a journal, and the list goes on.

Perhaps the thing that makes sobriety most worth it is the healing that will occur when you start to look at your emotional pain with clearer eyes. You will learn to be responsible for your own feelings instead of blaming others for your pain. Your feelings of pity for yourself will disappear, and you will find interest, genuine interest, in those around you.

The healing from the past that you experience is precious, simply precious, and you do not want to miss this benefit of sobriety.  You will find a new peace, a new freedom, and you will revel in these feelings.

What is it that you fear most from sobriety? How do you think sobriety can help you? Leave a comment and let us know.

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