I recently posted the above photo to my social media. A very dear friend of mine took some very important and freeing steps just from one simple post. This is exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing with my career and life. I want to touch peoples lives. I want to show them that living life free from pain, suffering and depression is possible. I want them to know that even if horrible events occur in our lives we can make the choice to step out of the darkness and into our light. I want to help them in any way I can. That’s why today I’m going to share what I’ve learned about forgiveness, the single most important gift I’ve ever given myself.
Forgiveness is a catchy term in the personal development industry. According to Wikipedia, forgiveness is defined as “the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.”
The first thing I think of when I read that definition is how it relates to the past. An offense occurs in the past. It’s something that has already happened. There’s no going back to change things. So if I keep going back to the past, I’m not able to be in the present, which is where life is lived.
The vengefulness one may feel comes from the grip that the past has on the offended. I picture a dark being with its hand gripped around someones neck. Anger and resentment build as the grip gets stronger and stronger. The only way to loosen the grip is to let the negative emotions you’ve built up for the offender move through you. Shifting your perception of the offender can help open the constriction those negative emotions have created. I found that if I picture them as a young child in pain it becomes easier to have compassion for them. If you can develop compassion for them the forgiveness soon follows. If self-forgiveness is needed, picture yourself as a sad or scared child.
The other thing to keep in mind is that we are all acting from our own childhood wounds, until we have healed those wounds. Most of us have had some sort of traumatic event in our childhoods that have affected us. It’s traumatic because at the time we had a negative reaction to what was happening and we didn’t know any other way to react. We are meaning-making machines and so we had to make the event mean something. That meaning turned into a belief, a shadow belief (stay tuned for more on our shadows). So remembering that someones wrong doing isn’t really coming from their true selves can help us find forgiveness.
The hardest part for me about forgiveness was thinking that forgiving them meant I was condoning what they did. I used to think that if I forgave someone for the hurtful act they performed, I was saying what they did was ok, and in my mind it was not. My ego was still very hurt. Then I realized that wasn’t the case and I was able to move on from the offense, from the past. Thats what forgiveness does, it frees us from the past. It frees us up to live fully in the present. I’ve been able to forgive someone for something and still walk away with my head held high because I knew I had just shifted my perspective so that I could take my power back and live the life I want.
Something that helps me remember to forgive is to think of myself as a container. I can either fill myself up with anger, resentment, and depression, or I can forgive (others or myself) and make room for other adventures and lessons. There’s a lot more room in my container for creatively building my life when I make the conscious choice to forgive. How much room is in your container?
With love and forgiveness.
I once asked a friend of mine, “why do i keep attracting the same type of guys?” I don’t even remember what her response was at the time but the answer that I was looking for has come to me recently. It was actually there all along, I just wasn’t ready to see it. The thing is we all have all the answers to all the questions we have within ourselves. We just need to be open to receiving them. That’s where the experiences of our lives come in. The circumstances and situations we find ourselves in bring so much education into our lives. We often think that things are happening TO us. Our car breaks down when we’ve run out of money for the month, other unexpected financial burdens come up, we get in a fight with a loved one, we injure ourselves somehow…all examples of “things” that happen in life. The list is obviously a lot longer than this but you get the point.
For me losing my job sucked really bad. Being diagnosed with breast cancer sucked really bad. Unexpectedly losing my husband sucked the worst! But each of these “horrible” events, and these are just the main three from the last 10 years, have taught me a lesson. I know in my heart I’m meant to support people in a loving and nurturing way, but I wasn’t meant to do it in the back of an ambulance. I tend to put others before myself but breast cancer taught me to take care of me first and foremost, or else I can’t help take care of others (you know the whole oxygen masks on planes story). Being left a widowed, single, breast cancer patient with two young boys has taught me to embrace my strengths, my tenacity, and my fierce badassness. The events in your life are there to teach you whatever lesson you need to learn too.
I’ve struggled recently with my past coming back to me to teach me another lesson. Our past will repeat itself until we are ready to learn what we need to learn. I knew all along that what was happening wasn’t what I wanted but it was what was in my highest good. It sucks to see others in pain and not be able to help. It’s what I did with my husband. To be a loving support for them is what I’m here to do, but not at the expense of my own sanity and divinity. In the past I would have kept up with the unhealthy habits that only led to more anxiety and depression.
I’ve worked very hard the past few years to release a lot of my past and learn what I’ve needed to learn so that I may move forward in life. I worked with Tris Thorp doing Mental and Emotional Release ® (MER) work with Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) recently. Since that time I’ve noticed how my being has been changed forever. I’ve seen past behaviors creep their way back into being which sent me back into anxiety and fear. Working with Tris however, has allowed me to be able to become the observer of my life and my behaviors on a whole new level. I’ve been able to stop myself in my tracks, change my perspective, and move on much more quickly than I ever have before. Being able to release the emotions that have kept me tethered to my past has been the greatest gift I could have ever received.
The MER and NLP work I’ve done with Tris and the shadow work I’ve done over the last couple of years have given me the tools I need to break free of the emotional bonds of the past so that I can spread my wings and fly with confidence that I’ve got this thing called life, no matter what gets thrown at me. I’ve been down the traditional route of medications to treat my anxiety and depression as well as my cancer. But the feeling of liberation has eluded me until I took responsibility for my life and started looking at how I was creating the life I was living. I can now attract the “guy” or the “money” or whatever else I want in life because I’ve learned how to work with the higher power that exists within me, the higher power that exists within us all, the higher power that already has all the answers we need, the higher power that’s connected to our unconscious.
If you are ready to liberate yourself from the past, if you’re ready to take responsibility for your life and create a future that you are excited about living, and if you’re ready to work with someone who’s going to be ruthlessly compassionate and open you to new perspectives click here. It would my pleasure and honor to walk along side you on your journey. I invite you to step into your power and your future in bigger ways. Take that first step out of your past by doing something different. May you have a beautiful day.
So much love and light! xo
Over the last few years I’ve come to know myself so much better. I’ve come to dive deeper into my psyche than I ever have before. I’ve started to see the magic that is life. It’s been such a beautiful journey. But it’s also been the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Why? Because I was conditioned to not trust magic. I was conditioned to only “believe what you see”. Can I see my mom who was killed by drunk drivers when I was 18 years old? No, but I know she’s there. How? Every time I’m alone and I smell cigarette smoke I know she’s stopping by to say hi. Well, either her or my grandfather, they both smoked like chimneys. Can I see my husband who died unexpectedly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer? No, but I know he’s there. Every time I hear “Running” from No Doubt, our wedding song, I know he’s telling me he still loves me from the other side. I believe with all my heart that they are both traveling between worlds to support me while I’m still here. If I were to see either one of them I’d probably flip my lid, but that’s because I’ve been conditioned to believe only crazy people see spirits. That belief has been challenged by many of my psychic and clairvoyant friends. Part of me is jealous that they can see such things and part of me would be scared shitless to have that ability. The thing is, I believe, we all have this ability, we just have to be open to seeing something other than the Hollywood view.
My first encounter with spirituality was more religiously based. I was baptized and raised Catholic. My mom was the good little Catholic girl, until she ended up pregnant with me at 17. That didn’t stop my grandparents from influencing us while living with them for many years. I even have the pictures to prove I’d gone through Communion. Such a sweet little girl in a white dress. However, I remember sitting through Sunday Mass with my grandparents thinking that this couldn’t be the only way to think. It felt very hypocritical to me, even as a little girl. I heard the sermons then saw the churchgoers living life a little differently. Once my mom married my step-dad we no longer attended church regularly so many of the beliefs I held were quickly replaced.
In college I took a World Religions course. We learned about Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Catholicism, Christianity, and some others that I can’t even remember now. I felt like so much had been hidden from me throughout my life. The mind, body, spirit connection made so much sense to me. To honor and cherish that connection felt natural and organic to me, not forced like Catholicism. I felt like this is what my God was telling me was the truth. I began seeing religion as an ego-construct to separate us from each other. I began feeling the pull of my spirit toward spirituality rather than religion. Once I made that distinction magic started appearing in my life, but my eyes weren’t yet open to it.
So I graduated college and began my life. I eventually met my husband and we started our family. Despite doing everything I was supposed to do according to our society, I felt completely disconnected. Disconnected from my family, from my life, and mainly from myself. I lived with depression for so long that it became my “normal”. It’s what I had grown to know, to be comfortable with. Little did I know things were about to get shaken up and I was being hurled out of my comfort zone. In a matter of three years my entire world was flipped upside down and inside out. My husband became an addict, I lost my job as a paramedic, we lost our first home, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, then, to top it all off, a month after my diagnosis I lost my husband. I was being sent message after message and I couldn’t ignore them anymore.
That’s when I surrendered to whatever Higher Power was in place. I had no idea who or what that Higher Power was but I threw up the white flag anyway. That was the first time I knew a power greater than myself, a magical power, was in charge. That’s also when I started listening to the whispers I was hearing. Those whispers had become dull roars and I started listening to what they were telling me. I now know those whispers to be my own inner wisdom leading me along the path I was meant to walk. I’ve heard them throughout my life but ignored them, like most humans. I dismissed them as nonsense, because I was conditioned to listen to others, especially my elders.
Listening to those whispers was the first step in following my intuition. Now what I do when I hear those whispers is take a step back and become the observer. I observe what’s going on, what’s taking place in front of me. I ask myself a ton of questions. I tune in to how my physical body is feeling. If I’m feeling anxious or fearful I know I have some personal work to do. If I’m calm and peaceful, that’s my cue to take action, even if it’s imperfect action. Things still get scary, I’m human. But the more I connect with my higher self and the magic that exists in our Universe, the more I’m able to be led my my intuition and live the life I truly enjoy living. I ignored my intuition the first three and a half decades of my life and things didn’t go so well. I think it’s time to see where I can go if I actually take the time to listen and be guided by the magic that truly is.
With tons of love.
I’m sitting here “working” right now in my home office when I realize that I’m doing exactly what I set out to do a couple of years ago. I have a vision for my life that includes setting my own schedule so that I can be a present mom for my two little boys, working from the comfort of my own beautiful home, helping support people where they are in life, and finding the harmony in business and self-care. My life has many facets, but they are fitting together quite nicely. I’m surrounded by love everywhere I go and I’m finding inspiration that I thought would elude me. It’s kind of funny how you set an intention, put it out there, take some imperfect action, and what you receive is way more than you could have ever imagined.
I say imperfect action because even imperfect action is better than no action. I heard that from a colleague of mine and it hit me upside the head. That’s usually how inspiration happens for me. That’s also how I learn lessons. So how did I get to where I am? By taking little imperfect actions. Every. Single. Day. As easy as it is to get “stuck” in life, it’s just as easy to get “unstuck”. Take simple actions, imperfect actions, every single day. Those actions will add up over time. Still skeptical? Read the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I read that book earlier this year but began my upward climb out of depression before I even knew it existed.
When I read that book it all made sense as to how I got to where I am today. At first my imperfect action was to simply get out of bed. When you suffer from debilitating depression and anxiety getting out of bed is the hardest thing one can do. The amount of energy it takes to actually throw the warm cozy covers off of your body can be too much to bear. Some days I’d get up long enough to get my kids to school then I’d come home and crawl right back into my nest. And of course when you have three fur babies to keep you company it’s even easier. But I mustered enough strength to do it. I put my feet on the floor and away I went.
I started taking other actions too. Those whispers in my head kept telling me to do things differently than I had been. Instead of crawling back in bed, crawl onto the couch. Even if I was having a Netflix marathon (thank you inventor of Netflix) I wasn’t in bed sulking. I was out of my bedroom participating in something other than self-pity. Well, ok, the self-pity was still there but I had done something different. One baby step at a time, ok. Then one day I decided to read a book instead of watch TV. I had watched every episode of every show I had been interested in anyway so now it was time to do something different, again. Somewhere along the line I had made the unconscious choice to change my life which allowed me to start making more empowering conscious choices. Before I knew it, I was participating in life again. And look at me now, taking the world by storm.
The journey out of depression isn’t easy, but it can be done. Because I’m human I still beat myself up over certain things, but I’m much more inclined to listen to the voice that tells me to be gentle with my humanity. It takes practice, but by showing up every single day, progress is being made. After all, it’s about progress, not perfection.
With so much love!