The 12 Steps For Relationships

  1. Admitted (recognized, acknowledged, became willing to open to the possibility) that I was powerless over this other person and that wanting to change them was causing me much pain.
  2. After seeking happiness through known methods, mostly by trying to change the other person, became willing to entertain help, a support system, ideas of others, and to believe that trust in others’ experience, strength and hope expressed as action steps on my part, might grant me the peace and joy I seek.
  3. Made a conscious decision to do something different – and to follow the guidance of a power greater than myself.
  4. Regularly bathed my consciousness in the new ideas presented by my Higher Power and my new guidance system, taking time to listen, ask questions and understand, and to contrast this thinking with past and current methods for acting and reacting to life.
  5. Each day, before entering into the world of activity, chose one new action step to take, albeit uncomfortable, and prepared to take that step.
  6. At days’ end or more frequently, paused, and through journaling or observing, noticed how my actions prompted by new ideas are impacting my thoughts, my life, my wellbeing and my happiness.
  7. Became aware of persons in my life who have tried to change me and realized that it doesn’t feel good. I cannot change them; I can change me. With this realization, included such relationships in my action plan of seeking help to learn what I can do and what makes me feel better about me.
  8. Came to see that, in relationship, “when nothing changes, nothing changes.” Yet, when one or both persons change, there will be a shift in the relationship, too, whether or not either person is willing to acknowledge the shift.
  9. Sought through “pause” (prayer and meditation), to become aware of the ways in which the relationships in my life nurture my “becoming” and the ways in which they no longer serve me (or the other person).
  10. Came to see that sometimes, when one or both persons have outgrown a relationship, the relationship must end.
  11. Became willing to draw closure, ever so lovingly, to relationships which have served their purpose, and to move on.
  12. Having realized the power of relationships, the potential for pain as well as the blessings, practiced these steps in all relationships, large and small, in all areas of my life.

A Fresh Look At Discipline

Does the very word discipline make you cringe? Do visions of childhood rules and limits set by your parents and teachers fill your mind? Are you quick to state that life is too full and too chaotic to consider the forced routine implied by discipline? A quick look at Webster’s and discipline reads like this:

“training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character; control gained by enforcing obedience or order; a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity”

Discipline seems to be guidance from the outside, perhaps forced upon us and not chosen by us. Okay, cringing allowed!

But what if we added “self”? What is self-discipline? Continue reading “A Fresh Look At Discipline”

For the sake of what?

I am playing with this question for awhile. Here’s the thing. I set this as a topic for a talk I’m giving on January 6, 2013. And as I’ve tried to be with the talk – to create even an outline – I’ve gotten stuck and overwhelmed. What will this one really be about?

Meanwhile, it is the holiday season. And that little fact can also cause overwhelm and confusion. This year, for me, it was low key on the family front with no children at home and no extended family after December 23.

How are these things related? Well, I woke up today realizing that I needed to be with my talk title. Like it or not, you have been invited along for the ride! Ready? Buckled in? Here we go! Continue reading “For the sake of what?”

Family Christmas

Deep breath. Today my husband and I will travel to celebrate Christmas with my family of origin. I am aware that, despite 31 years of marriage and much personal growth, I still carry “old tapes” – stories of Christmas past – stories of people past.

I tear up with the awareness that I want to be seen for who I am today, just as I did 10 years ago when I gave you, my family members, this poem:

My Gift

Yet I still see you at times, for who you were 10, 20, 30 years ago! It is time for me to let go. Time for me to receive you with heart and mind wide open! Continue reading “Family Christmas”

The BE-DO-HAVE Experience

There are 17 days before people around the world celebrate Christmas, a holiday whose deepest intention, to remind Christians of the birth of their savior, is often lost in the commercial wrappings. I am far from alone in seeking an experience of the season that is rich with meaning, true to the ideals of peace, joy, love, and hope, and beautiful rather than draining.

Each one of us will have a different vision for that ideal experience. Your meaningful and beautiful holiday might be filled with people and parties and joy while mine might be homemade presents and intimate luncheons. Our neighbor might focus solely on Christmas caroling and choirs, religious services and donating time at the local food pantry.

Many of was want all of this and more for our ideal season. And when a day like today arrives, a Saturday wide open with time to get things done, we ask: What will I do now? What must get done? Where will I start? And before long, the crazies can set in. I found myself beginning to race within 30 minutes of waking up today. My list had “write a tidbit” and my crazies centered around, “What will I write about?” Continue reading “The BE-DO-HAVE Experience”