Are You Honest About Who You Are?

One of the most important practices we can use to get and stay sober is being honest. By this, I mean not only cash-register honest, but honesty about who we are.

Cash register honesty means we don’t lie, cheat, or steal. But above and beyond that, we want to be honest with ourselves and  others about who we are inside.

We will need our honesty when we reach the exercise of doing a performance self-appraisal, where we will look at the things we have done to harm others, as well as consider the things we are mad at others for. But for now, let’s focus on our positive traits.

There is a lot that is talked about regarding looking at our not-so-desireable traits, our dark side, if you will. But not much is said about considering and celebrating who we are on our positive side.

It is this that I urge us to do. We want to stop and take a deep breath. Then sit with, maybe write down, all the good things about ourselves. How were we kind to others in the recent past, tolerant, compassionate?

What are our strong qualities and traits that we want to consider? It is okay to acknowledge these to ourselves and others, as we become more honest about who we are.

We are each here for the special message we hold for others, and when we are not honest with others about our good points, we keep our value from them, thus denying them a valuable experience, maybe even a healing experience. We deny ourselves the pleasure of being of service to another.

When we look at out positive points, we do so with humility, being neither boastful nor shame-filled. We just state the facts with no emotion attached. This may be difficult for us to do, having been trained not to brag about oneself. Yet, with humility, we can avoid bragging.

Today, take the time to sit and reflect upon your good traits, the ones that make you unique, the ones that feed your soul when you are engaging in them. Once you have identified them, celebrate them. Congratulate yourself and know these are your gifts, the things that make you, you.

Know that those are your gifts that you are intended to bring to the world, and know that you cannot do that unless and until you are totally honest with others about who you are inside.



Have You Found Inner Peace?

Promise of Peace brings us to the conclusion of the book. And I quietly wonder if you have found inner peace, any at all, by going through the book with me this last 42 or so days. I really hope you have…

Promise of Peace

Promise of Peace

Peace. How do you know peace when it finds you? For me, it is the all-inclusion of everything we have been talking about into my senses, seeing with the eyes of my heart, and feeling a great deal of love for all beings on this Earth.

It is promised to us, if we go through the process that is defined in my book, because in doing so, we learn to love deeply. There is no desire to be in conflict with others.  When really in-tune, that includes inner conflict as well.

Does that mean we go through life in this glow? Hardly. That doesn’t happen because we’re human beings and, as such, are a caring and feeling species. Given the ever-constant changes in our lives from day-to-day, and the fact that we react with feelings and emotions, we slip temporarily from that space of centeredness and peace. 

So, what is there to do when this happens? Lament the loss of our peaceful existence. even if it was only for five minutes? No, we merely start in by looking at the situation, feeling our feelings, examining our response to situations that have arisen.

Case in point, I am in the middle of something which has the potential to affect how I conduct my life in the future, and I was stunned to realize I was playing the victim role! Wow! I thought I was past that, but it showed up very subtly. So, I am in the process of doing more self-appraising to see what is going on with me that puts me in that mindset.

At the same time, I am feeding myself positive affirmations. These tasks equate to ” taking action,” as we discussed in previous posts. Slowly, I am becoming able to see glimpses of my terror over how this new information could affect my future. How much will I get out from behind that terror to affect my own future? That is the key.

We can affect our own future by the actions we take today, in this moment. What do we do with the fear? We can recognize and feel it, acknowledge that it exists,  then walk away from it and take action, and, as needed, allow a glimpse of it again later.

We repeat this again and again until our fear subsides. I believe these issues get raised for us, so that we can take a look at core beliefs, and to heal from the destructive ones. While we do this, we remember to be gentle, kind, and tolerant with ourselves and the others around us.  And the result is, we find our center again. We find that peace again.

We even can go to it among the turmoil by distracting ourselves with a favored and cherished activity, one in which you get lost. Your peace will return as a reprieve for what you will again visit to sort out. That’s how it works for me. Maybe it will work for you, too.


How to Find Peace with an Open Heart

As we move along in the book, one topic at a time, we come to how to find peace with an open heart. In the book, it’s called Openness of Heart.

Openness of Heart

The verse talks about how we go through life with a heart that is closed to life’s pains to protect our heart. The verse continues with, “If we allow our hearts to open, we will see things in a different light.”

“We will grow through the barriers of our heart and be able to fully experience the richness of life.” And we – you – find peace.

Along with an open heart comes an open mind. You must develop an open heart and an open mind to find peace.

How does this work? How do you come to have an open heart and mind?

You make a choice and you decide to see things in a different light. You decide to see the world and the people around you with more kindness, gentleness, and tolerance.

You begin to delight in people and their differences by opening your heart to them. Perfect example… Last weekend I was in a holiday craft show at the mobile home park where I live. The woman across the aisle from me had a table with lots of stuffed bears, around which she had placed small scarves she had knitted. There were other objects, as well.

Now, I’m not much iinto stuffed bears and the like, but I decided to look upon the wares at her table, and to notice her and them with an open heart. What I had the gift to observe was this woman, lovingly placing these scarves around the bears’ necks, then arranging and rearranging the bears and other items on her table.

The expression on her face was one of pure focus, pure love, and I was able to be a witness to that, simply by opening my heart to her and her product. It was priceless to watch her… My heart soared.

When you close your heart and mind to others, you miss out on priceless moments such as these. In fact, you miss out on peace in your soul. So, how do you find peace with an open heart and mind?

As I said, you make the decision to see with eyes of gentleness. You consciously decide you will be open-minded about what you encounter, that you will delight in someone’s differences. You consciously decide to not be fearful of their differences. Then, you view another with the eyes of the soul, viewing them as another child of the Universe, just like you.

You allow them to be different and praise the differences in them, knowing that the differences you witness add great richness to your life. You recognize that, to some, you and your expression of who you are will seem strange, and you smile at yourself when you think this, allowing you to be yourself with your strange habits. When you can do these things, you will experience peace of mind and openness of heart.

How do you open your heart, your mind, or, do you go about life with your heart and mind closed? Wouldn’t you like to experience seeing life with the eyes of your soul, being more gentle, kind, and tolerant? Try it. You’ll enjoy the feeling.





The Art of Practicing Perseverance

Rolls of Perseverance is the image of the day. No inspirational sayings, no quotes about life, just a discussion about practicing perseverance, especially in the face of discouragement.

The verse in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing talks about the discouragement I try to ward off because I have not become the person I want to be. Instead, I hold tight to that vision of what and who I want to be, and keep moving forward to achieve that vision.

For example, I strive for being a person who is consistent in my efforts with the book, and with my blogging. As you well know, I am not consistent with the latter, and yet, I want nothing more than to be so disciplined that I blog on specific days, every week. I have great difficulty getting to it, as I seem to have with some other of my efforts.

Instead of beating myself up, which is my norm, I try to just keep working toward that goal. That is all I can do. The fact is, I AM beating myself up for my inconsistency and that behavior gets me nowhere. It paralyzes me, makes me feel guilty. These thoughts about my lack of action are not useful.

In fact, I believe we each do the best we can do at any given moment. We need to remind ourselves of this when we start to self-criticize. It might be helpful to see what is behind our lack of action. Is it fear, which it often is for me? Or, is it overwhelm, which is what it is in my case involving blogging consistently. Regardless of the root cause, we can continue to practice perseverance with our efforts, until we reach the vision which we hold for ourselves. In the meantime, we can be gentle with and kind to ourselves.

As you identify ways you would like to be, just keep practicing perseverance, plugging away a bit at a time as you are able. Soon, you will reach the goal simply by taking continued action.