Trust Your Heart’s Desire

Offer of Trust

When our soul calls to us to pursue our intended purpose in this lifetime, it will speak to our heart as a dream we have. Not a dream as in when we are sleeping; rather, it will call to us as a tug at our heart strings, or a vision of a message we want to share with the world.

When this happens, we need to trust our heart’s desire, and follow where that dream leads us. We will find that as we do this, the Universe will support us by sending us the people and situations that move us closer to our dream.

Many of us, myself included, have great fear about deviating form what is familiar and established. For example, I left a nursing career of 22 years in order to get sober and to follow my dream of first becoming a photographer, then of becoming an author.

Of late, I am delving into a speaking career, speaking to audiences about how to create emotional inner peace, or peace of mind. Each time I say yes to this dream, the Universe has sent into my life the people and experiences I need to grow my business as a speaker.

I was only able to get past my fear of doing this because I feel so strongly that my intended purpose is to tell my story of transformation from a miserable and drinking person, to a sober and really joyful and peaceful one. I believe it is intended that I speak to people about that.

We each need to identify what it is that holds us back from following our heart’s desire, and become willing to risk and follow that desire. In order to do this, we allow ourselves to feel those feelings, those blocks, and we ask for courage to follow our dream. We trust that dream and we follow it where it takes us.

This brings me to the issue of trusting the Powers of the Universe, whatever you call that Power. If we trust that all will be provided for us, as long as we take action in the direction of that dream, it is amazing the things that show up in our lives.

There is a saying I have on my wall, that says, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

That is my message to you today… trust in your heart’s desires and catch the trade winds in your sails. It will guide you to peace.

 

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Trust in Divine Source

Offer of Trust

As we move forward in our journey into sobriety and my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, we come to the topic of trust. Remember, we are in search of ways to get and stay sober, and to find peace.

Of paramount importance in the journey to and through sobriety, or simply through life, is a trust in Source, or the power of the Universe, or God, or whatever we call that force in the world which guides us, offers us solace, offers us opportunities. This force will take a front seat in our journey, and it will become our companion, our confidant.

This is necessary because when we have difficulty, and want to drink, we can call upon this Source to help us, and it will! It’s the most amazing thing! I came into sobriety just having read the book “Conversations With God” by Neale Donald Walsch, and I was smitten with the idea of God. I believed He was everywhere, in everyone, in me.

This became very important to me when the feelings of my emotions began to surface without alcohol or drugs to numb them, and it was this belief to which I turned to help keep me sober, to lessen the emotional pain I experienced. I got relief, and I was able to keep from drinking, so I kept believing.

But I lost trust as the hurts and pains of my old wounds surfaced in years two and three of sobriety, leading me to feel that God could not be trusted, that I still had to “watch my back.” This lack of trust went on for some time. Even so, some force graciously helped me stay sober, and I thanked that force daily.

At one point, my spiritual advisor suggested I notice every time something good happened in my life that I had not arranged, had not orchestrated. Something that was for my better good, or that fulfilled a piece of my dream. I did what was suggested and started noticing.

Sure enough, little things kept happening that furthered my dreams to become a photographer. Opportunities began to present themselves that I knew nothing about until they showed up. I began to make gains and strides in my healing work.

I finally made the choice to believe there was some guiding force that was grander than me, that would guide me through the maze of life -my emotions, my dreams, my challenges. That force comes to me in small voices in my head, telling me a certain course of action to take, being my conscience, guiding me when I listen to it.

The point is, we need to make the choice to believe in a force greater than ourselves to help us stay sober. We do not need to do this alone any more. It is safe to ask for help. There are people waiting for us with out-stretched arms, ones who have done it before and are guiding us. These people show up in our lives at just the right time, as if sent by Source.

It is my deepest hope to be considered by you as one of those people with out-stretched arms, guiding you through the process I took to stay sober and find peace. I share my story here to be of use to those of you still suffering, whether with an alcohol or drug problem or just plain emotional turmoil not complicated with substance abuse. May you find something in my words to further your journey in a positive manner. 

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Accept Our Path In Life

Path of Acceptance

Path of Acceptance

“When we become entwined with our path, the steps become as soft as velvet, and the ascent flows smoothly.”

Such is the case when we accept our path in life, accept our path on a daily basis. Often, we resist what is being shown to us as our true path and, as a result, life is difficult and we encounter many barriers, many obstacles. It just seems as if everything goes wrong.

On the other hand, when we tune into our path, take action on the things which come across our path that feed our soul, and further our dreams and goals, the Universe responds in like kind and moves us along smoothly, with little effort.

It’s hard to describe the wonderful feeling that occurs when we accept our path in life, for it is truly amazing. Things just fall into place and all we have to do is take that first step, follow where our path is leading us.

It takes trust in that power greater than us, that we are being guided to a safe and appropriate place, and it takes willingness to follow where we are being led. If we believe in our higher power, we can relax and do the work that comes across our path to do.

If we accept our lives as they are, even if we don’t like it, it makes our lives that much more easy to deal with, to cope with. We will know peace and we can easily maintain our sobriety. If we continually rail against or resist “what is,” we will continually know strife. 

Today, notice the times when your actions lead effortlessly to a positive result, one that is in line with your goals, your aspirations. Notice that when you accept what is going on in your life, even if you don’t like it, life flows smoothly. 

 

 

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Trust in a Power Greater Than Yourself

Offer of Trust

Offer of Trust

Today we shall talk about trust in a power greater than yourself. Believing in this is crucial to getting and staying sober, because we proved to ourselves that we couldn’t stay sober on our own, under our own will power.

Some of you may have a belief in such a power, call it the Universe, God, Buddha, etc. Some of you may have had this belief from childhood, and some of you may be angry at that higher power because it let you down, and so you don’t believe.

When I came to sobriety, I had just read the book Conversations With God. From that, I developed the belief that it was possible there was a God and I looked at everything as having God in it. That helped me get sober.

As I developed further sobriety, however, that belief became very difficult and, in fact, disappeared. I felt I could trust God so far, and then I had to watch my own back. So, I had no faith that He would watch over me and protect me.

Then a dear friend and spiritual advisor suggested that I pay attention to the little things in my life that were turning out well, things that I did not try to accomplish. She said to notice things that fell into play with little or no effort. She said that was God working in my life.

So, I started noticing and soon I realized there was time after time that my life was being moved forward with little or no effort on my part. Things just seemed to appear when I most needed them. Slowly, I began to believe that could be God.

By doing this over time, I developed the belief that God is, in fact, watching my back, that God is present in my life. I was able to relax, and that feeling was freeing and peaceful.

It matters not what the power greater than yourself is, it just matters that you have something that you trust is guiding you and your life. This power will help keep you sober when you are struggling to do so on your own. It will help you with healing emotional pain.

All you have to do is trust. Try to let go of preconceived beliefs if they are not working for you, and watch the little things in your life that fall into place easily. Believe that is your higher power, working on your behalf. Before you know it, you will have developed trust.   

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Finding the Willingness to Change

As we move along in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, today’s topic is willingness. The verse reads, “All it takes is willingness to unlock whatever lies inside, to turn the knob and open the door… All it takes is a tiny opening, the size of a keyhole.”

Amazingly, if you show the slightest bit of willingness -to heal, to grow, to change – the Universe will help you by rewarding you with even more willingness. This is important because everything hinges on your willingness to be willing.

If you are not willing, for example, to have courage or to trust, to commit or to be humble, to be honest or to open your heart, all the forcing on your part will not get you anywhere. If, however, you are willing, those things will happen with little effort on your part.

I used to pray for the willingness to be willing. That may sound funny, but it worked! I was granted the willingness which changed my mindset around and made me more open to things, more open to change and to grow, to heal.

To find willingness in your life, try praying to whatever power greater than yourself that you have defined. Maybe it’s that doorknob you see in the picture. Make a conscious decision to be willing to see and experience things differently.

Seriously, all it takes is a decision the size of a keyhole. In other words, it takes a small amount of willingness to carry you a long, long way toward finding peace in your heart.

Try making that decision to be willing, or pray for willingness. What do you experience when you do this? Do you feel an opening of your heart, your soul? Once you try being willing, let us know what you find by leaving a comment.

 

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How to Trust in God

I would like to preface this post with two things. When I say how to trust in God, I am using the term God to mean a power greater than yourself, and it can apply to any other source of deity that you choose. I also present what worked for me to begin to trust, and do not claim to have all the answers.

That said, let’s look at how to trust in God. I had great doubt about God off and on throughout my sobriety. Yet, a belief in a power greater than myself to keep me sober was essential. Trust for the simple things came easily, but there was still the element that I needed to watch my back.

The photo in the book for doubt shows the predominant side in the shadows. When we doubt God, I believe we are in the shadows, a murky and somewhat dismal place to be. In opposition, the other side of the gate is bathed in sunshine and is the place where we wish to go.

How do we get there? In my experience, I felt that God was punishing me when bad or negative things were happening. I didn’t get that job I so desperately needed; it must be that God was punishing me.

The amount of belief I had that God was punishing me was directly proportional to the amount of fear I had that I would be punished by another. This was directly related to the healing work I needed to do about having been punished while growing up, and I had a lot of healing to do around that issue.

Nonetheless, I struggled to trust, as I knew my sobriety depended upon it. My spiritual advisor gave me the following advice. For me, it worked and soon I discovered how to trust in God.

Every time I took action on something and then let the results go – in other words did not force results – and something glorious happened that was far beyond my expectation or desire, I was told to consider that that was God working in my life. 

I was skeptical, to say the least, but I did this anyway. What I soon discovered was that there were lots of little things happening to me that I did not orchestrate but that moved me along in my healing process. Things like, a healer for the PTSD from which I suffered just showed up on my path. I partook of her services and was healed from my PTSD.

Lots of these type things began to happen and I was noticing them all. After a period of about a year or two, I was realizing that I was trusting that God would do for me what I could not do for myself. I began to see God from the sunny side of the gate.

So, for me, it worked to notice all the things in my life that happened when I didn’t plan them or force them to happen. They occurred with grace. That is what I suggest you do to learn how to trust in God.

Do you currently trust in God? Did you struggle for that to occur? What worked for you to be able to trust? Leave a comment and help another to discover a method that works for them.

 

 

 

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The Power You Gain by Trusting

The power you gain by trusting in a force greater than yourself is incredible. Part of being able to move forward with awareness and discovering yourself involves being able to trust in something bigger than you are.

The Power You Gain By Trusting

Offer of Trust

The verse from the book reads, “A way presents itself to me. But I cannot see where the path leads. Still, I am asked to trust. Is it safe? Do I have a choice?”

For me, I had no choice but to trust in something bigger and more powerful than me if I wanted to get and remain sober. After all, I had tried and tried to quit, but wasn’t able to until I let go, surrendered, and began to trust that a greater power could help me.

That was my story; yours may be quite different and have nothing what-so-ever to do with drinking.

The bottom line is, no matter what we try to do in our lives, there is a power greater than ourselves. Call it the Power of the Universe, the Powers that Be, Great Spirit, God, Buddha… the name doesn’t matter, it is the concept, the act of trusting a greater power.

We cannot see this power; it is intangible. And, yet, if you believe it exists, it can give you courage and strength to move forward and do things you are not able to do on your own.

Are you trying to love yourself, to have faith in yourself, to let your light shine? All of these things are achievable when you believe that there is something bigger than you, guiding you.

How does that work? I have no idea, yet, I have found it works very well. If you give up trying to accomplish things using your own will power, and focus on a power greater than yourself, almost effortlessly, things you have tried to accomplish begin to happen. You must take action, however.

It is not a matter of sitting around and expecting that this power will do things for you or drag you from one good thing to the next. Oh, no. It is more that opportunities begin to be presented to you, and you follow up and take action on them. You determine what that shows up in your life will be beneficial for you, and then you follow up.

When you do this, amazing things begin to occur. All it takes is faith in that power greater than you. It is amazing the power you gain by trusting in that force, believing that it can accomplish what you are unable to do using your own will power.

What are the ways in which you trust in that force? How does it work for you? I invite you to leave me a comment and let others see what works for you and the power you gain by trusting.

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Inspirational Sayings That Can Help Change Hopelessness to Hope

Many people go from great despair and depression to hopelessness; they go hand in hand, it seems. It is possible to find inspirational sayings that help change hopelessness to hope, but we have to be in the right mind-set for them to sink in. Often, when we feel hopeless, we are not able let anything in – we are too exhausted emotionally to hear anything, too depressed to care, too bereft to sort out what is coming our way.

For me, hopelessness was a feeling that there was no use to live, no purpose to my life. I was totally listless and had no belief that things would get better. In fact, I felt so hopeless, I prayed to die. I found my thought that things could not get better, to be untrue, however. Hope crept in…

I am an inspirational sayings and quote kinda gal, and I found inspirational quotes about life that helped turn my hopelessness around. I just kept reading quotes. I also did a lot of recovery work involving much reading, and I was taking what I read and applying it to my situation.

Because of my work with sobriety, I reached out to help another and, through that action, discovered that the painful events of my lifetime had meaning and purpose. I discovered that when I relayed my story to another who was in pain, and humbly offered what I have found that helped me through it, he expressed gratitude for me sharing; he said it was very helpful to him.

As I processed what had happened, I realized that my painful experiences in life had been necessary so I could relate to this person’s pain and have compassion. I realized they were for the purpose of sharing them and the solutions I have found to heal from them. Suddenly, I had purpose! My life had purpose. I felt useful to others. It was this realization that led me to come out of despair and to feel hope. In fact, I have not felt hopeless since that day. What a blessing; such a gift.

I think when we do for others, we can recognize that tender part of our heart. Seeing that in ourselves, it resonates with what we would like to be in the world – perhaps kindness, perhaps giving.  And we begin to say to ourselves that a person with a tender part in their heart cannot be all bad or worthless. That is a redeeming quality. Ah, a beacon of hope .

“May a ray of light across the bars of your being light your way, instill hope in your heart.” That is for those who struggle with hopelessness, worthlessness and is a modification of what is in the book, as I made it about you, and not me.  I like Kathryn Hepburn’s words, “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw anyone out.” And I add, including yourself. Don’t throw anyone out, including yourself.

So move forward with intention (the aim of the root to anchor and the leaf to find the sun) and provide kindness to another (kindness-the touch of an innocent heart on the broken wing of a fallen bird).  Go with courage (the will to act in the face of fear guided by trust and the knowing of the moment) and go with trust (the arm that reaches through apparent circumstances and holds steadfast to identify with Source).

 

 

 

 

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Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Curls of Kindness

curls of kindness“If this is not the time to be kinder and gentler to each other and ourselves, when will it be? “

I recall writing this in my journal one day when I was in angst about the unkind treatment of others that I was witnessing. I was discouraged by this, as well as the lack of kindness I was showing myself.

I didn’t recognize the unkind treatment to myself until years into sobriety, but I did recognize that the ways I treated others could be perceived as unkind.

In the past, I was unable at times to just smile at people, or to offer a kind word, a compliment. It wasn’t that I had unkind thoughts; it was that I was in fear about exposing myself to you. This made me shy.

In later years, I have realized that my behavior could likely be perceived as hostile, haughty, stuck up. Recognizing this opened my eyes to ways I could improve. Still, I had difficulty smiling at you, offering a “hello.”

As my trust in others, the Divine and myself has grown, I have been graced with the ability to smile at you, to offer a word of encouragement, or to tell you your hair looks nice today. I make the conscious choice to practice random acts of kindness. I have experienced great joy when I open up to someone and watch their face light up with appreciation.

It’s as simple as that today, although it has been a process of going through my gates to get to this point. Once I was able to be kind to you, I began to be kinder to myself. My hostile, belittling self-talk has decreased tremendously and most of the time is absent.

So, I ask again. If it is not time to be kinder and gentler to ourselves and others, when will it be?

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Shadows of Doubt

doubt72

“I am mired again in the shadows of my doubt, my fear. I circle and circle and circle around the stones of my heart, caged, unable to pass through to the place where my heart is bathed in light.”

Such is the prose that accompanies this image, Shadows of Doubt,  in the book. Interestingly, I wrote this prose in my journal several months before I selected and titled this image for my series, Gates of the Heart. The prose was not written specifically for this image. Yet, they fit together beautifully. That happened for most of the prose in the book… my journal writings coupled naturally with the images.

When I wrote this in my journal, I was riddled with doubt. I knew that “light” existed “out there;” I had heard others speak of it. But I could not get to it. I was running in circles in my mind, specifically, doubting the existence of a higher power… God, or whatever you choose to call that force. And, I was doubting myself… my abilities, who I was and especially my worthiness.

I could not seem to trust God, I kept having my doubts that He existed, because I didn’t feel as though He was helping me. This doubt led to mistrust. I would go only so far in trusting God, and then I felt I had to take over, had  to watch my back. This became a problem for me, Because to maintain my sobriety,I needed His assistance.

Then I met a woman who suggested to me that I start noticing every time something happened that was for my own good, whether an event/experience or in my inner world. “Watch how it is better than anything you had planned,” she further said. So I started watching and acutely paying attention to the things happening in my life.

Sure enough, I soon began to see that things were happening in my life. Things like, feeling better about who I was, developing better relations with others,  events occurring and people appearing to further the publishing of my book, for example. I concluded that God is and was working on my behalf, always providing me with opportunities to learn lessons, or to learn about myself and others.

My doubts about a higher power have waned, but as far as doubt about myself? That is an area that needs continual watchfulness and awareness. This is a topic all its own and  I will deal with it in the next post.

Thank you for visiting and joining our journey through the book. Until the next time, what do you doubt?  What has that been like for you? How do you overcome doubt?

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