The last two years have brought many changes in my life. I got out of an unhealthy relationship, moved, my two youngest offspring left home, and I am now sharing daily life with the man of my dreams. The only thing that didn’t really change during this time has been my job. I have been at it for nearly 5 years, and have been very thankful for the security and regularity it has provided during all these transitions.
I set some intentions relative to how and where I would live, and they have manifested in amazing ways. Yet I find myself continuing to ask myself “What do I really want?” This morning as I found myself pondering, I decided to focus instead on what I already have.
Peace. I have been on a search for peace for years. I tried to find it through religion, friendships, moving from one relationship to another, but none of this worked. I finally learned that I was looking outside myself for peace. Even expecting GOD to provide internal peace when I kept looking for people to make me happy didn’t work. While I was still married, I went to Al-anon meetings, and that program was the first place that I learned that I needed to take care of myself. I finally became strong enough to make healthier decisions for me, as in getting a divorce instead of holding on to a fantasy. Re-examining my beliefs about God, religion, and spirituality and beginning to meditate daily has led to the most peace I have known in my life – because I have found it within, instead of expecting it from outside myself.
“The world around us will never be peaceful until we ourselves are at PEACE WITHIN. If we are fighting and angry on the inside we will never experience the opposite on the outside.”
― Angie Karan Krezos
Love. The greatest thing in life is to give and receive love. Without doubt, I have always been loved – I had a good upbringing with loving parents, have been in love relationships, and have had the love of my children, which I would have to say is the most special of all. I have generally taken care of myself, but until I began in earnest a quest for enlightenment, didn’t realize that I hadn’t been truly loving myself, which had the effect of an inability to give love unselfishly. Unselfish love doesn’t demand anything in return, yet attracts lovingkindness.
“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
Freedom. When I focused on the chaos around me and in me, I attracted chaos.As I learned that peace and love had to begin with me, I began to attracted peaceful and loving people into my life. As my life changed, and I disentangled myself from that which didn’t serve me well, I began to experience a buoyancy of spirit. I also did something I’d wanted to do for a long time – divested myself of homeownership along with numerous possessions and embraced a more minimalistic lifestyle. This lightness of spirit plus minimalism has led to a sense of freedom that I’ve never known. I must add here that the fact that my 7 children don’t live with me anymore also contributes to that sense of freedom.
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
As I ponder these ideas, I am thankful for every step of the journey that has brought me to HERE. A huge life lesson is to learn to live without regrets, whether it be about how I failed my children, or wasn’t able to stay married, or wasted money. All those things were part of what I was supposed to learn. I have no doubt that I have more lessons ahead of me. I plan to meet whatever challenges lie ahead with peace, love, and hope.
3 thoughts on “What do I have?”
“… All those things were part of what I was supposed to learn….” Is there a sweetness in acceptance?
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This is a great list. I have a question though.. How do you stop focusing on the chaos around and inside if you? This would help me tremendously but it seems so unavoidable. I feel as if my life is always surrounded in chaos, in one way or another. I desperately want it all to go away! Any suggestions you have I would be so grateful for!
From what you’ve been writing about, you have a lot on your plate. It’s a little easier for me at this point in my life, but it has definitely been a journey. We can’t just say to ourselves, “hey, stop focusing on this shit!” Getting out of and away from toxic relationships is the first, very difficult step, and those you can’t get away from you have to have some sometimes extreme boundaries.
Seems like, from reading your blog, that you are already doing that.
As far as internal chaos, since I’ve been practicing meditation this year, I have been able to have a greater measure of internal peace, although there are times when my thoughts are like ping-pong balls in my head. Then I remind myself that thoughts are just thoughts, not reality, and that I have a tendency to make up stories about other people that aren’t based on reality. Another word for that is obsessive thinking. Taking time every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to sit with myself, focus on my breath, breathe out the stress, helps. But it isn’t magic.
Let’s keep talking! I’m going to be out of the country til next week, no internet access, but I will be back.