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Learn From The Challenges in Your Life

Healing-Holes-in-Heart

I have been deeply hurt in my life. Betrayed, ridiculed, bullied, slandered, abused. For a time I carried past pain into each new day. It was so exhausting. One day I just could not carry the anger bags any longer. I set them down by making a list of everyone and everything that hurt me. Then I forgave. Regardless what other people did to me it was the act of my forgiving them that set me free.

Focusing on how you have been wronged does not allow you to appreciate how much better you can be for having been through the experience.  It is the hard lessons in life that give you the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to avoid the same or similar hard problems in the future.

No matter if it is a job, relationship, interaction with a child or parent, or just an encounter with a driver it pays to pay attention to what life is asking you to learn from the experience. Sometimes that is learning how to forgive so you can move on.

Trust Your Gut

Recently someone I know was fired from a horrible position working with rude and mean people. Over the past two years she allowed herself to be used and abused. It became harder and harder to go to work, yet she continued to fearfully remain in a situation in which she had absolutely no control or power.  She did not have a back-up plan. Instead of investing herself in finding another position, a distorted sense of loyalty kept her from taking action to move on. So, after repeatedly ignoring the endless intuitive warning signs that her job and life were NOT going in the right direction -stress, illness, dwindling self-respect, being verbally abused, disappointment, anger, etc. –  change was forced upon her.

I completely understand. I was downsized from an executive position right before 9/11. Without any prospect of a job in the city where I’d lived for twenty years I had to move away. I was forced to sell the new home I’d moved into only two years before. I had to leave the beautiful English cottage garden I’d built stone by stone and plant by plant. I lost my relationship. It seemed overnight I was involuntarily removed from the familiar, from friends, from the life I knew. But it was not overnight. There had been clear signs for months, if not years. I chose to ignore them.

From experience I can promise her, and you, that one of the best ways to avoid problems and make life easier is to learn to trust and act upon the protective wise whispers of your heart. It is not fearful but confident, not angry but calm, not confused but sure, not stressful but peaceful. Your intuitive information is always supportive and positive like the truthful guidance of a wise and trusted friend.

What a Wonderful World We’ll Create

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Yesterday I witnessed a fender bender on my street.  Someone was not paying attention, pulled out of a parking spot without looking and was hit by a passing car.  Both people got out of their cars and began yelling at one another.

I thought to myself what a better world we will create when we take responsibility for the mistakes we make instead of automatically trying to blame others.  What a wonderful world we will create when we care more for how we peacefully and respectfully interact with one another than we do hunks of metal.  What a wonderful world we will create when we accept that we cannot change an accident after the fact.  What a wonderful world we will create when we accept that none of us is perfect. We have the power to create a wonderful world when we treat other people as we want to be treated.

Keep Your Heart Open

Protect-Your-Heart

For many years I tried to protect my heart from pain and disappointment by keeping it closed. It took a while for me to put two and two together to the truth it was being distanced from the love and responsibility of my heart that actually caused my life to lose meaning, direction, and prevented me from having intimate relationships – with myself and others. Closing my heart did not stop stress, unhappiness, rejection, and disappointment from seeping in. In fact the truth was exactly opposite.

Life will hurt at times. Another truth is that you and I do have the power to prevent a lot of the suffering and stress we needlessly create for ourselves.

With an open heart we care how our behavior impacts us and other people. When we care about ourselves and others we work to stop behaving in the selfish and unconscious ways that create unnecessary anxiety, regret, misery, and guilt in the first place. And it is our heart that gives us courage to set boundaries with those whose behavior consistently brings negativity or mistreatment into our lives.

Striving to behave positively, regardless how others choose to act, does bring the peace, joy and fulfillment we want. Although this is counter to what our ego tells us, the higher, wiser truth is that the world opens its heart to us when we open our heart to the world.