Monthly Archives: December 2017

I want to remember this moment forever

I want to memorize this feeling, even as I allow it to flow through me, and I stay present in the next moment. And the next.

I want to carve it on my heart and mind, so that I can pull it up when I want (or need) it most.

I’m sitting here with both my kids. Enjoying them. Basking in them. And potentially annoying them. But I don’t care (about the annoying part).

“Deal with it,” I say to them, as I hug or kiss them one more time. “Deal with it.”

“It sucks to have me love you this much,” I acknowledge to them. “And to have me delight in you so much.”

They can deal with it, because I’m not stopping.

I’m not stopping – or even pausing – the love that soars through me as I look at and listen to my kids. The delight I feel in learning more about who they are and who they are becoming. The joy that floods my senses and clouds my vision…in a good way.

My parents may have loved (or may love) me this much, but I didn’t know it if they did. I didn’t feel it in how they attempted to show it.

My kids might not appreciate my over-focus on and over-affection for them. They may find me annoying (they clearly do at times). But they know I love them, and to me, that is way, way cool.

My kids know they matter to me – more than most things if not all things. They know they can tell me anything (and I’ll most likely respond in a completely wrong way at first, but still). They know they can ask me anything. And ask me for anything. And I love knowing that they know all this.

And the joy I feel as I sit with the two of them, the wholeness that envelops me as I look down the hall and see both of their bedroom doors closed (because they’re both here and asleep), the completeness that soothes me as I watch them talk – or wrestle – in the other room – all of these emotions are all I want in life.

I want to remember these moments forever, even as I move on to each next moment. I want to remember these moments forever.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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I’m going to have a good day

I woke up this morning with a justifiable reason not to have a good day. But I’m going to have a good day.

I woke up this morning with a justifiable reason to be frustrated and disheartened. But I’m going to be heartened and hopeful instead.

I don’t know if I always was a “glass half-full” kind of person. I know that I work hard to be one now. I don’t want to ignore or negate the awful things in the world or the challenging aspects of my life, but I do want to choose to see the upside and potential. I’ve learned that a positive outlook literally broadens our peripheral vision and allows us to see more opportunities. Opportunities we might miss if we’re hunkered down in the negative.

I believe (finally) in all my feelings. After years of not having – or at least not admitting or allowing – any sadness or anger, I know how life-affirming it is (for me at least) to admit and allow the full range of my emotions. The “good” and the “bad.”

But, I don’t want to be anchored in the anger or sadness. I no longer want to be mired in or defined by my pain. I want to look for reasons – and create reasons when necessary – to have a good day.

I can notice the sunshine and the leaves blowing in the wind. I can breathe deep and feel my mind and soul ease. I can think of the people I love and the friendship and joy I have in my life.

And I can have a good day.

Have a good day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Guilt is a good thing

I was working through an exercise with a colleague in my Positive Psychology class a few weeks ago, and I shared with her advice I’d been given years ago. “If you feel guilty while doing it, it’s probably a good thing to do.” It blew her mind.

I’ve been connecting with other kids who grew up in the Unification Church and hearing their struggles with guilt. Too much guilt. Misplaced guilt. Responsibility for the world – and all of God’s pain – guilt.

I know that guilt. So I shared the advice with some of them too. It blew their minds.

I’ve fashioned my life – and my recovery – on this phrase. If I feel guilty when I do – or don’t do – something, then it’s most likely something that’s good for me to do (or not do). It’s most likely something that puts me first, or at least farther ahead. Something that takes into account my needs and wants.

These were all things I was taught not to do. I was taught – or at least I somehow learned – to put myself after most, if not all, people. To sacrifice my needs and wants.

I learned, in fact, to not have any needs and wants. I learned that wanting and needing were wrong. And dangerous. And selfish. And evil. And sinful.

I learned to sacrifice everything for God and the universe. I learned to “pay indemnity” – to suffer to pay for the sins of my ancestors and the sins of my descendants. And to be thankful that I had the opportunity to do so.

When my mom left us to join the Church, I was told I was fortunate to live without her. “How lucky you are to be able to sacrifice this way” the Church leaders all said. “Thank you for your offering.” “You’re so amazing and brave.” “How blessed you are.” “You giving up your mother is saving the world.”

This has all been hard programing to put down, and “If you feel guilty while doing it, it’s probably a good thing to do,” has been a helpful way to learn to put it down. To learn new things that that are more life-affirming and joy-bringing. That are more soul-filling and ease-enhancing.

I’ve developed the muscles to breathe through the guilt and shame that sometimes threaten to overcome and overwhelm me. I’ve been practicing this new approach for years. It’s been work, and it’s been worth it. I’ve learned – through years of practice and support from others – that I can get through it, and it won’t kill me. Even when it feels like it will. Or like it already did.

I still have overactive guilt and shame muscles. I possibly always will. But I can use the guilt for me – I can remember it’s a guiding force to point out what would most likely soothe my heart, mind, and soul – and that’s a good thing.

That guilt is a good thing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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