Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Hero of Your Heart

Here we are, half way 2011, how is your year so far? In spite of a series of difficult years with unbelievable twists and turns, I continue to greet each year with optimism. I know this year will be better because, well, it has to! First we lost our jobs and our savings, then our homes then our good credit ratings - gone! Now peeled down to the basic necessities of life, time with our family, our people, became the treasure we lost financially. Vacations have become stay-cations and we spent more time with people closest to us however, there is the old saying, "familiarity breeds contempt", and that it has. Too much time together seems to magnify everything that bothers us about the other.

What happened then? Suffering financial instability brought up core fears.  We question our ability to survive, we feel socially vulnerable at suffering such material loss. Our pain and humiliation mutates and spews out at others in the form of judgment. Does fear produce judgment or does judgment produce fear?

Today's issues are of the heart. Time to work on the really juicy stuff - judgment and criticism! Isn't it fun? Of course it isn't. My heart was broken when I learned that someone close and trusted was judging me in private and acting loving to my face. Is that because it's just easier than being honest? I think so. This must be a beautiful opportunity to be judged and feel such sadness.

The truth is, this sadness is a beautiful opportunity. It is perfect because in the second half of my life, I have a renewed commitment to be that change I wish to see in the world. My pain from judgment is likely the same as yours. Judgment I hold is not different than judgment held on me. It is time to make choices, on purpose and out loud. Time to make righteous choices about the purity of the vibration I am sending and harboring.

One of the great teachers of our time, Caroline Myss describes judgment as the most harmful vibration, something like a curse. How does it feel when you have passed judgment? At first powerful, immediately followed by justification all wrapped up in denial. We’re just calling it like we see it, it is the truth after all. I’m not judging, I’m just being honest, and you know, if you can’t take a little constructive criticism…on and on and on.

Judgment not only hurts the one being judged, it hurts us to hold it. When we embody judgment what it says is...I am so afraid that someone might see through me that I must deflect my sense lack toward someone else. The best defense is a good offense right? Not in life, not in relationships. Choosing to hold judgment takes a toll on us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We must be impeccable in our thoughts and words and we must do it on purpose. Whatever judgment we hold will be held in our bodies and souls leaving a wake of broken relationships and soiled communications.

Join me in staring down the coward inside that wants it to be about everyone else.  It is time to reunite with the hero of your heart that wants nothing more than unconditional love. Let's do it, it's time. Be the hero of your heart.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Julie "Less Than" Has Left The Building

I don't know how I could have been so naive, or maybe it wasn't naive, maybe it was distracted?  Was I distracted or do I really lack initiative and common sense?  I did not realize that while I was stumbling through last year I was treading on those close to me. 

Something I have known over the years is that there are times when I am slow on getting things.   I hesitate saying so because those coming to me for readings have some expectation that I have all the answers and live in an amazing "got-it-all-together" life. I apologize for bursting your bubble if you are of this belief.  I am just me, Julie, learning as I go.

I have learned along the way. The challenges and difficulties I have waded through and overcome have taught me how to step forward into each new day and each new lesson.  I bless each sunrise as my opportunity to do-over that which I have failed to do to my satisfaction the day before.

Much to my surprise last fall, it was brought to my attention that I had become less than helpful, that I would not only not step-up to the plate to help clean-up, but if I did help I would claim some "mysterious" pain and stop helping.  I was utterly shocked - standing there with dish pan hands...really? I don't help enough?  Oh. 

This accusation knocked my legs out from under me.  I was in disbelief and crushed that this feeling of my lack had obviously been discussed with others but not with me.

Here is my truth.  Last year I ended my marriage, a 15 year relationship. Last year, I started a "real" job 5 days a week that includes a difficult commute.  I stopped working-out in part because of the job but also because I started having chronic pain in the leg that just got a new hip the year before.  Both of my sons left home to begin their lives out in the world.  It was a year of colossal change for me, maybe they are right.  Maybe I have dropped the ball these last several months, I certainly felt out of sorts.

My experience has shown that when someone feel strongly about something, their feeling stems from a spark of truth. There may be lots of superfluous details surrounding it, but there is a basis of truth. I strive to embrace that truth and not throw myself headlong into a defensive, reactive state.  Easier said than done when you're already twirling around in a new ungrounded reality and a life that is changing at an alarming rate.  In the past, I have considered it a downfall of mine to bow down to others uncharitable opinions of me, to take their judgment to heart and accept my position as "less than".  It's not uncommon I know, many of us are in good company in the "less than" category. 

Something changed for me last year, well many things changed.  I turned 50.  It's a number - a biggish number that somehow granted me permission to lift myself up from "less than" and strive to at least be equal to.  Not only did I give myself permission to be equal to, I also evolved my terms of engagement.  I reject "less than".  Julie "Less Than" has left the building.  Don't come looking for her and expect her to be the bigger person and suck it up when you want to dump on her - it ain't gonna happen. 

This propping up did not happen overnight - it was a full 50 years in the making.  How many times have I made excuses for another persons bad behavior or maltreatment of me?  How many times had I made it right or OK for someone to disrespect or degrade me?  So many times - weekly, daily - hourly.  I'm done.  That's it.  Or so I thought.

 A new attack from another corner.  Apparently I have no common sense and do not understand people.  Wow.  Crushed, humiliated, demoralized.  It wasn't the harshest thing anyone had ever said but it stung.  Did I mention that 5 days prior I had to have an ovary removed?  Another story for another day.  Suffice it to say I wasn't in my best form when this blow was leveled.  What happened next was a deep level of release of Julie "Less Than".  Tears flowed, for hours.  I could not stop them, they came, for days.  It became very clear that in my desire to honor their truth I had given up my right to believe in my own goodness.  I had forsaken myself.
Maybe I did walk away from doing dishes, maybe common sense isn't my strongest quality, I do not agree but I am not looking at me through their eyes.  Could it be that these observations and judgments on me were a calling to my soul? A call to recognize and claim who I know myself to be?  Was this happening to help me forward in my life growth? Of course it is, it always is. It's never for nothing.  When I reflect on who I perceive myself to be in the world, I know from my heart, I do the best I can with what I have in that moment.  I believe in my goodness, I accept that I may appear something other than that to you.  Your opinion of me is none of my business.  You are free to hold me in whatever light you deem appropriate, it is your choice.

Likewise, it is my choice to hold myself in the light I deem appropriate.  I am a work in progress.  Some edges are rough, but many are smooth.  I promise to continue to search for the spark of truth in your assessment of me though I will not apologize to you for your opinion of me.  I promise to me, that I will be faithful to who I know myself to be and I will no longer dwell in the land of "less than".  If you see yourself in these words, won't you join me?  Drop me a note and tell me your story, I would love to hear from you. 

Thank you for sharing this personal moment on my path.  May you be and feel truly blessed.

P.S. Peace has been renewed in all relationships mentioned above, my people are awesome.