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Our lessons we have learned

We have gone through the many ways of letting go, the emotional process of cleaning and purging.
We have journeyed through the hard parts of life and loss and found hope in the middle of it all.
We have ventured into new schedules and new ideas and plans both individually and as a couple.
This fall I have seen many face book pictures of mom’s taking pictures of children moving up into new grades.
They are facing new schedules and new situations too.
Some are entering school as a college age person, some are entering into kindergarten for the first time.
All ages bring us new awareness that life is a series of changes and choices.
In the past week there was a horrendous fire in our area started by a young teen who didn’t make good choices.
The lesson learned will be with him for his entire life.
When we see something like this we begin to understand that no choice we make impacts only ourselves.
If we have family and friends each decision made effects all of us.
How busy we become or how preoccupied we allow ourselves to be affects our peace.
For me there must be time of slow introspective moments of quiet and rest.
Not sleeping just restful restoration.
Fall is here and there is a short window of time till Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Always time for family, always time for reflection and memory making.
I am going to try some new schedules for writing, for exercise and for personal relationships.
The lessons learned in letting go of what is not necessary will be life changing.
Will you join with me in this challenge?
If we allow the ‘clutter’ to remain around us both physically and mentally we become weighted down,
with what is not positive or needed in this time of our lives.
It is a challenge I will take on with all the energy I can hold onto.
Our lessons learned are good and become our teachers if we allow them to teach us.

Learning to let go part two

One day while I was sitting in the therapy office; my counselor gave me a little bottle someone had made.
There was a little hand written note on it that said, “for someone.”
Then she quoted the verse about God noticing and saving our tears in a bottle.
[You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.] Psalm 56:8
I thought it was very sweet and powerful that she would make something for someone she didn’t know.
It also had an impact on me since all the years in therapy I never cried, came really close a few times.
Growing up it was a ‘known lesson’ that showing feelings or especially tears was not a safe thing.
Often I would cry in my bed quietly but no one would know.
So when I think that God was with me when each tear fell, it is comforting to know I was not alone.
The process of letting go of old rules or lessons has been freeing.
To experience sorrow in a normal way. To accept it and know that it is ok to feel the feelings.
To say what you feel without hurting someone gives value to your voice.
I remember when it would be a struggle during counseling to say the words.
I would hear him reminding me in a very quiet voice, “I am here listening.”
Another part of letting go is the process of cleaning.
Letting go of things that used to be ‘important’.
It is in the letting go when we learn to release the grip either it had on us or we had on it.
Another step of this journey is going through closets, ‘keepsake’ things that have less meaning now.
It’s taking a big risk for me as I am definitely a sentimental messy.
I love cards from people and keep them, I treasure children’s drawings and save them.
There will be a point in time when I must let go.
Release and purge the ‘stuff’ now when I am mentally in a place to do it.
Just as I had to let go of childhood pain and move on into freedom and healing.
I have to move forward and get rid of the ‘mess’ because it doesn’t have to be part of the message anymore.
My story is still here.
I just don’t have to keep the years of journaling, the pages of words that could do more harm then be helpful or healing to anyone but me.
The process of letting go is releasing the grief. Understanding it’s power and then learning to breathe again.
I saw a quote from Brene’ Brown and I wanted to share it:
“It takes courage to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”
The process of letting go is being able to tell the story as it was and then move on.
That was then, this is now, and I like who I am becoming.

Learning to let go part one

[“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest for your souls.”] Matthew 11:28
[“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”] Psalm 56:8
Have you ever been in a place in your life where a deep heaviness followed you around and the sense of sorrow was real and not able to shake off no matter what you did?
Yeah me too.
In those times I have to remind myself that within the process of grief there is a learning to let go.
A few years ago my husband and I experienced a series of deaths of people of both family and friends.
We lost my parents within a year of each other, we lost our spiritual ‘parents’ within the same time frame, in the same time frame we lost an old cat and then an old dog, then our other good friends were killed in a horrible crash, then another good friend died of cancer.
A few years before that we lost my husbands parents too.
It was a lot of grief to process on many different levels.
When you think of grief and letting go it’s hard. It impacts you deeply.
You lose a part of your life story.
When I think of those who passed away sometimes memories fade.
The power of the story changes when those we cared for are gone.
In the process of saying good bye there comes a realization that in this life, we never will see that person again.
If we are believers we know we will, but we miss them in the here and now time.
In my last counseling session before I did closure on that too, he said to me, “do you realize how much loss you have had in less than four years?” It was hard to think of each passing as a loss.
Each one held different places in our hearts and each impacted us deeply, even the animals.
My parents ‘closure’ was a hard one for me as each of them had a different story and impact on my life.
I did not let go of the ‘story’ but I did let go of the pain that surrounded it.
To disregard the ‘chapters’ that affected my life would be wrong, but I don’t have to dwell on them or stay seated in that place emotionally.
The other hard closure was letting my counselor go.
He was the one person who really knew me and understood how my emotional ‘world worked’.
But in saying that I knew it was time to say goodbye.
I was in his office for many years and the tools he had taught me to find safety in my feelings worked within the context of trauma and death. I was stronger and more able to handle the crisis without him.
Did I feel sad when I drove away? oh yes. Did I want to go back into the room ‘just one more time?’
Oh yes. But the one thing he always told me, it was his job to work himself out of a job.
Learning to let go is just another way of saying, that this time in my life will always have deep meaning to me and I will never forget the moments treasured in memory about them.
Is there something in your life, or someone that you are learning to let go?
Grief and letting go is a process we all must grow through at some point in time.
The main thing I learned in therapy was, the only way out is through

Learning to listen to your heart

I read something the other day and it said:
“Never dismiss your gut instinct, if something deep inside you says something is not right, learn to trust that.”
Have you ever met someone or been in a situation that seemed to unsettle your peace?
Yeah it is your ‘gut’ instinct that is a true lesson to listen to.
Sometimes our heart ‘can move’ us in a selfish way but for most of us our ‘gut’ instinct is there to protect us.
I tend to have high discernment and as we have been married throughout the years my husband has learned to trust my reaction to something or someone.
It’s pretty immediate for me. “I don’t like this, or I don’t trust this.”
We bought a couch one time from someone and as we were driving down the road my husband said, “we are not keeping it right?” I could not put it in my house there was something odd or strange about the person and item.
We gave it away to someone who had a bonus room and I remained in peace.
I think we often disregard our hearts cry. We minimize it or make excuses.
It isn’t easy for me to do that as the discernment is there for a reason and if I ignore it my spirit remains unsettled and I don’t sleep well or feel in peace.
As we learn to trust our heart I think it’s very spiritual, as the bible used the word heart 956 times.
[I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.] Psalm 16:7
[Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.] Psalm 16:9
I think as we think on the words above and understand that we must listen to our heart’s churning; we gain peace and an internal calm that is both refreshing and freeing to our every day living.
As we learn to tune into what makes our spirit at rest we find a relaxed way of living.
When I know I am walking and living in the right way I remain ready to say these words.
[Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.] Psalm 19:14

Learning how to react and respond

(This was hand written a week ago and now typed into this setting)
When I continue to think about the art of listening it moves me into the realm of how we pay attention.
Often I will say something to my husband and there will be no response, then I will say to him, “did you hear what I said?” and he will acknowledge that he wasn’t listening.
I could tell because of the lack of response.
Sometimes the noise around us is too loud for us to hear. Other times we just are not tuned into it.
I do not do well when the air noise is loud and there is too much clutter to sift out.
My personality does best in calm and peaceful environments.
How are we supposed to react when the noise is harsh like the current political climate?
For me, my choice is to turn it off.
My husband and I are at the beach and the silence is amazing.
Today I choose to listen to the waves, allow myself to feel the wind in my hair.
Refresh my spirit as I breathe in the beach air and the freshness.
I actually came down to do some writing but I think there was another master plan happening.
The camp has no electricity so I cannot plug in. My computer will not work, my cell phone is dead.
So plan b for the day is to respond with a joy and delight that change has forced me to unplug.
I will walk on the sand, and feel the softness as my feet sink into it.
I will slow my pace and breathe.
I will rejoice in this inconvenience for it forces me to be more in the present.
The beach and it’s beauty.
The waves always calm my spirit and I will return revived and refreshed.
I didn’t bring my camera so even that is not a choice for me.
I will just experience it as it is, in the present and remember it as a memory.
Sometimes a change of plan is good for us.
We can learn to be flexible and open to some new experiences.
How do you handle life when it throws you a curve?
Do you react and respond in a good and positive way?
One of the hardest things I think we all have to work on is letting go of our agendas.
Sometimes it is the laying aside our plans when we get really blessed.