All women are mothers, each and every one of us. Some are blessed with it by biology, but many, many more of us mother by how we walk lovingly through our world. We just love more intimately.Read More
|Wrapping Up Love...|
Let's begin with the exercise:
You need to create a few mental images. I think we will call it, "day dreaming for adults!" Easypeasy. To begin, image yourself alone in a quiet and beautiful space. This should be a place you feel peaceful, safe and loved.
Where are you? The beach?, or maybe it's simply your living room? Or a mountain top in Hawaii? A tulip garden in Holland? A quiet lavender field in France? For some it may be a place of religious significance.
The key is that it should be the most sacred and calming place that you can imagine, the place you feel most peaceful and connected with yourself.
Got it?... Good!
Next, I want you to imagine your LOVE. All the love that you have in your being. Do you have it? Good. Scoop it all up into your arms. You need to imagine it in an inanimate physical form. Maybe it's a heart, maybe its the word love carved in a stone, or just scrabble letters of L-O-V-E , or a piece of red paper cut into a heart, a charm from a necklace, or a vessel of some kind that can hold all your love. Just get a physical image. I imagine love as the word. The letters carved in little rocks that I can fit into my hand. Now place that object, your "love" in a box. Let's be clear, you are not losing love, you are for lack of a better description, cloning it. A strange idea, I know.
My LOVE, I put into a beautiful square box. The box is cream and I have some airy cream ribbon to make a beautiful bow.
So imagine yourself, holding your box of love. You are sitting in this beautiful space you have created. In this place you are positively beaming, you never have been more relaxed, happy, safe, secure, practically giddy, just you and your box. I would have a glass of champagne, because well it's a celebration of me and my big O' box of love.
Now, turn and look around. You have company. You are not alone. Next to you is the Divine. Yep, the Divine...
How great is that. Right?!
So let's talk about your image of the Divine. Who do you see?
Do you see George Burns from the 70's movies? Do you see an old wise fatherly figure? Or Morgan Freeman? Some will see Jesus, others will see a woman. Some may see some sort of super angel. I'm fine with whatever physical form you use to meet the Divine. I feel strongly that the Divine comes to all of us a little differently, so what you imagine is perfect.
Keep in mind, that you are not nervous, you are at peace sitting with your Creator. The Creator that knows you intimately, that created you in the image and likeness of the Divine. So bask in the attention. You are home. It's the BEST.
Great. Now hand over that beautiful box O' love to the Divine.
So you give this gift of love to God. Now what--right? Hang tight for a second.
Why are we doing this exercise? I know for sure that God is in all of us--each and everyone of us. Sadly, sometimes we tune God out. If we agree that love is how we connect to one another and to the Divine, then it may be worth considering how we use love. Should we use it a little bit more? Do others need to stop treating love as a toy?
Recently, I have needed to remind myself that there are three of us in every relationship; you, me and the Divine. I can't claim to have a relationship with the Divine and not acknowledge that you do too. So the folks who push my ever loving last button; they are in the same relationship with the Divine that I claim to have.
Imagine you just gave the Divine your box O' love and said, "Could you help me with this love business?" Would your relationships look different? If you let the Divine direct you a little bit, how would the Divine use your LOVE with others? Would the Divine steer you away from some relationships, and shine you in a new direction? Would the Divine, push you out toward some folks, and give you great insights into others?
This my fellow Pilgrims is the very definition of our fourth tool: Vulnerability. The definition is simple: It's the ability to give and receive love in its most honest form. Vulnerability is a two way street. In order to share where you are on your journey, you have to be willing to let others share with you. As I like to say, love is messy. Being vulnerable means you are saying, "yes" to the messy. You peel back that protective layer that we all like to keep covered. Will others think my messy is too much? Will they discover that I'm a hot mess or too broken?
All fair worries.
You are risking that someone you have given your trust to, may hurt you.
Is it a risk?
Will you be hurt?
Perhaps. But I have found that for all of my hurt in this life, the true members of my tribe far outweigh the few trolls who have hurt me on my journey.
Honestly, I have found that the better I use the tools, the more likely I am to find someone who is a perfect fit for my tribe, not an imposter!
So how does vulnerability allow you to be resilient?
Being vulnerable allows us to walk away from unhealthy relationships and toward healthy ones; which is a key component of resilience. Choosing what is best for ourselves and our spirit. Vulnerability allows us to find others who "get-it," who will ultimately make up our tribe. As you continue to build your tribe, your ability to use the tools improve. The tribe members hold you accountable and you them. You create a safe-haven of trust, where you share and grow, you learn, listen and you get stronger in your own truth. When you peel back that layer; you create a space for vulnerability. It's only when we are in this place (of vulnerability) that we connect on the deepest level and it's then that we see the Divine in each other.
If you are using your tools as keys to resilience; you can look with a loving eye at all your relationships. You may find that perhaps the healthiest place for you is in fact not with the person you have chosen. If you are in love with someone who has over time turned the Divine out; you may need to love yourself more and let go. Loving yourself means that you recognize that the Divine created you as a most precious beloved gift. Love doesn't mean that you are trampled; love means you are treasured.
Which brings me to this question for you: How well are you using your love? How well is your loved received? How much of your love do you share? How willing are you are to trust and be vulnerable? Do you give your love away haphazardly?
Here is the kicker: Would the Divine use your love the same way?
Really think about this: Take a few minutes to really consider it. We know that no one is better at loving than the Divine. So how would the Divine use your love in your life?
Please carry that question around this week. Own it, consider what that means to you and where you are meeting not only your tribe, but the Divine on this portion of the Pilgrimage.
So tool number four is vulnerability, check. You are doing great, really. And I love you!
Can't wait to hear how it works for you this week.
I love hearing from you, and I miss it when you don't reach out! So leave comments below, connect with me on instagram at PilgrimageGal or on facebook at PilgrimageGal or send me a private email by sending me a note in the form in the sidebar.
photo credit: PixaBay/blickpixel
|Well done. I love you more...|
Week three of our Pilgrimage on the road to Resilience. We have covered Humor, and Love, and today we will spend some time on Community and Tribe. Community for me is your larger world, your acquaintances and friends. Your tribe is your close and core group. People can move in and out of these circles over time.
If you accept the concept that living well is a direct correlation to how well you love. Then those who you love best and most authentically will organically become your community and tribe. The size of your circle is a direct result of how open, vulnerable and truthful you are about yourself. I hear often from folks that they aren't good at making relationships. If you find your circle lacking, you need to ask yourself some tough questions. Since it's almost Spring and we are working through Lent, perhaps it is time for a Spring cleaning of your emotional house.
Here are some questions to ask yourself. Some days we are better at these than others. I guess the real question is; in the last month can you feel good about more of these answers than not?
How free are you to love? Are you positive in your world view? (ie: The world is filled with more good people than bad?) Are you tolerant of differences of opinion? Do you judge first or love first? Do you enjoy the company of people who have a different worldview than you do? Are you willing to try new things? How willing are you to sacrifice your wants for someone else? Are your actions more thoughtful? How easily do you let go of other people's failings? Do you expect perfection in others? Do you forgive? Do you listen? Do the rules apply to everyone, but you?
A sobering set of questions... I know. None of us are perfect and I certainly know this list of questions makes me acknowledge that I'm a work in progress. The questions are designed to make us stop and think.
Real relationships require balance; and the better your balance; the better your tribe.
Relationships that matter may require work; there is always some heavy lifting. Often in this world of instant gratification we forget how to be thoughtful and kind. Simple kindness of a note in the mail (something I stink at doing) makes people's day. For the record, basic thoughtfulness goes a long way.
If I had a dinner party of the twenty most influential women in my life (and it would be tough to limit it to 20), the table would be very eclectic. The table would include grade school friends, teachers, high school girls, some family, several soul sisters, folks met while working, some girls battle tested by my health foolishness. My tribe is diverse; some share my catholic faith, others don't. I have friends that aren't so sure about this God business, too. I love that my female tribe members are all over the political spectrum and the world. Are they different? O'my, yes. Beautiful, honest, funny, battle tested, willing to call me on my foolishness, each one has a special spark that stops me in my tracks. Each and every one makes me better, pushes me to be a better version of myself.
I'm thinking I need to have this dinner party!
What I know about my tribe, is that you need one quality to join. Only one. You have to be able to share your truth with me. I need to know who you are; who you really are; not who you want to be, not who you think I want you to be; you need to be yourself. And everything else will fall into place. Every woman at the table could tell you my truth, as I can there's. I hope that each one would say that they always know that they are loved completely by me and they love me likewise in return.
Everytime I end a call with someone in my tribe, I say the same thing, "I LOVE YOU."
Because I always want them to know, that they are loved. I never want that to be in doubt.
To some, my circle of friends seems to be random. I make friends easily. True. Why? I think partly because I'm interested in other people's stories. Who are you, where are you on your journey? I'm drawn to people who are honest, who are willing to not give up, who have that titanium inner core, who see the world as beautiful and full of promise. My tribe gift is simple, I don't forget your truth. I carry it always, I know your soul and you know mine.
So your tribe may be wider than you think. Your circle may involve more facebook or long distant chats then you know. I thought the move would be devastating in my relationships. I was worried about the lack of daily contact. But what I'm learning is that the depths of my love for my nearest and dearest is likely even stronger. I carry them with me in the grocery store and when I make dinner. I look at my watch and know where they are, I pray more directly for these loved ones than ever before. And that is what your tribe is, the ability to connect in the world with love for the ones who make you stronger, wiser, deeper in your faith, whatever your tradition. What we need to ask ourselves is why we don't extend our arms as wide as we can? To love more, to love with more intention, to speak our truth to every ear. Why do we skirt the tough conversations instead of saying what is really in our hearts? You can have the difficult conversation if you do one thing, put others first. It's not about you, it's about them.
What is the one quality that you need in your tribe? Once you know that quality, that truth, your tribe will blossom and bloom. Just like you...
Life is better when you have someone (or a whole tribe) to walk on your pilgrimage with you.
So how does this help you become resilient? It's simple.
You are never alone when you have your tribe. Your tribe dusts you off, helps to pick you up, sometimes they carry you. Your tribe helps you get back on the path when you make a wrong turn. Your tribe holds you accountable along the journey, loving you and wanting only the best for you. But best of all, your tribe is there to celebrate the joyous moments, the happiness of the journey, the triumphs of this life.
To drink the champagne with you. To hold their glass high, toast and say, "Well done. We love you."
And to my tribe, you know who you are... I love each one of you, more than any words on this page today or ever could say. Thanks for walking with me, always.
I raise my glass to you and say, "Well done. I love you more!"
Till next week my Pilgrims, make your tribe a little stronger this week. Spread some of that love around.
Photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/users/Holgi-5825/