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way to take my own advice

the doctor is in

 

Not two days after I’d written about how we choose to experience guilt, did I make that exact choice. “Great, now I feel guilty that I can’t even practice what I preach”. Wait, I’m doing it AGAIN! Geez, this is not easy.

In thankful retrospect, choosing to be a victim couldn’t have worked out better. It’s given me an opportunity to share my failure; in truth, my success. Often, one and the very same thing.

We all have the choice to put ourselves in a higher place.

The details of what happened aren’t important. My omission of them is not to be intentionally frustrating, but to illustrate that regardless of what happens to us individually, we can all use the same tools to be better; to be stronger.

wasn’t coming to my own rescue. I wasn’t able to overcome my guilt and show myself the Love I deserved. Thankfully, without knowing it, help was all around me.

As I opened up to first my rescuer, I made sure to profess why what had happened “didn’t even matter”; that it “didn’t change who I was”; and that it “wasn’t even true”! In the wake of all that defense of myself, did I feel any better? No. In fact, the old adage, “what we focus on, grows”, was holding true. I was feeling worse the more I went on.

This quiet soul looked on earnestly, not saying much. As I eventually wound myself down, I finally turned my attention to this person. What my attention saw was a kind, sincere, heartfelt pair of eyes looking at me. Along with those eyes, a hug followed. Not an “I feel sorry for you hug”, but an “it’s okay, I know who you really are hug”. And, I thought – what matters to this person is me. Not what had happened, but just ME.

That evening, as I drove home from a gratifying workout at the gym feeling refreshed and upbeat, I thought – my body doesn’t care about what happened earlier today. It responded positively to the workout and in turn, I feel good.

As I enjoyed my dinner later that night, again I thought – regardless of anything outside this moment, this food is providing me with what I need and I’m grateful.

Finally, as my evening came to a close, I enjoyed some music; something I often do. As I listened, I continued my reflection of the day and thought – this music sounds the same every day. All that changes is how I choose to listen and absorb it.

In every instance, each of those positive experiences was a choice. As much as it seemed like what had brought me down was involuntary and forced upon me, it wasn’t. It was a choice of the negative. My rescuer’s hug, my workout, everything that filled my evening; was a choice of the positive. And, I felt better in every instance. Those instances were my true self shining through. My decision to feel guilt and victimized by what happened earlier that day was a choice of darkness over my light.

We don’t have to choose to be a victim. Get a hug, give a hug, run til your legs burn, laugh til your stomach hurts, eat an Oreo ice cream sandwich, blast your favorite song. Just get out of the way of the negative and Love yourself however you can in that moment. It can be the most simple thing that brings you joy. Make the choice.

be Love.

theheartmovementtiny

worst. vacation. ever.

worst vacation

 

Do you feel like you’re on a constant guilt trip? Like you’re forever feeling bad about something? Why do we seem to continually endure this on an almost daily basis?

Because, we allow ourselves to feel this way.

By definition, guilt is something we feel when we believe we’ve violated a moral standard we wish to hold ourselves to. But, when’s the last time you really, truly had this happen?

More often than not, the things we feel guilty about are, in effect, trivial every day things. Making an honest mistake; declining an invitation; eating one too many cookies (unless it’s chocolate covered Oreos. Then, we just feel pretty great about it). I’d be hard pressed to qualify any one of those as an act of immorality. Regardless, we put ourselves through the mental anguish of not living up to some sort of fictitious expectation we’ve allowed to govern us. Guilt is nothing more than a self-imposed shroud of shame around our Heart.

And so, what beats guilt? Love and forgiveness does. Every time. Unfortunately, we’ve allowed guilt to win far before Love and forgiveness have even entered the race. We’ve become conditioned to believe that our mistakes require punishment. That punishment, coming in the form of guilt.

Refusing guilt is about taking responsibility for the decision you’ve made and taking responsibility to allow Love and forgiveness to prevail. If you’ve made an honest mistake, know that you’re human and that your imperfection is what makes you perfect. If you pass on that invitation for whatever reason, recognize you wouldn’t put guilt on someone in the reverse situation, so why put yourself through hell for the same reason? Eat as many cookies as you want, but don’t attach guilt to the choice you’ve just consciously made. It’s a stick-to-your-guns type scenario. “I’m eating these cookies. Period.” Enjoy it and move on.

Taking responsibility is an extremely liberating feeling. We never get the most peace of mind when we get away with a lie, but rather when we’ve finally come clean. You weren’t late because of traffic, you were late because you didn’t leave early enough. Own it. You didn’t have the time to attend your friend’s pre-engagement engagement party (or whatever), you just didn’t have time for that. Own it. You didn’t have the money to donate to the United Way; you just wanted to spend it elsewhere. Own it. And, as soon as you’ve taken responsibility for all the choices you’ve made, usher in Love and forgiveness. Don’t even start on the teeter-totter of “was it right or was it wrong?” Or, “good decision-bad decision”. In every instance, nothing really life-ending happens. And, even if it does, Love and forgiveness is what will get you through. Guilt will never be your answer. I promise. Even if you did do something terribly immoral, just Love and forgive yourself.

I was inclined to finish by saying this is all “easier said than done” and to do your best with it. But, to be honest, if we keep repeating that idiom in the face of life’s challenges, we’ll just be forever talking and never doing. Start right now. Drop the guilt and pick up Love.    

be Love.

theheartmovementtiny

way more fulfilling and zero calories

hugs

 

This one is easy.

Over the last couple of weeks, my days have been experiencing a lot more warmth and sunshine. How?

Hugs.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been blessed with a nearly daily opportunity to give and receive hugs. And, to be really honest, it’s pretty much been the highlight of my day. I’m having tonnes of fun with it.

So, to each of you out there, that’s my challenge; how many hugs can you get and give in a day? I mean, real hugs. Not those half-assed, bs hugs where you kind of put your arm around the person and brush shoulders. I mean, embrace someone. Put your arms around them and let them put their arms around you. Let them support you and you, in turn, support them. Let go of the stiffness in your body and melt into the other person; feel them. It doesn’t matter who; your wife, your husband, your kids, the mailman. Make a real connection with that person for those brief moments.

It’s those brief moments that have been carrying my day.

be Love.

theheartmovementtiny