Browsing "Spirituality"

Dear Sarah (2)

I have to believe you were an angel with a lesson for us all about unconditional love. Tolerance. Acceptance.

Though you were judged, more about you never passed judgement. Even when people expressed hate toward you, story you showed them love. You celebrated each person for exactly who they were, nothing more or less.

That’s not to say you were soft, or a pushover – you were a damn firecracker. But you could defend yourself and your stance in a heated discussion, and then buy your adversary a drink.

Because all that really matters in this life, is love. Love is the only thing you leave behind, and the only thing you have with you when you go. I wish you had known how much you were loved.

We can’t change what happened, but we can change ourselves and live the legend that you left us.

May we never miss an opportunity to give love to each person we meet, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Dear Sarah

It’s taken me a month just to be able to look up the website of the charity we were asked to donate to in your memory. I remember you mentioning it a couple of times, about it but I had no idea how deeply it spoke to you. Or how it would now speak to me. The first paragraph of their vision broke me down completely:

“You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, health to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.”

I wonder if you did know. I wonder if you knew that every person who met you, felt blessed by your presence. I wonder if you knew the impact you had on everyone around you.

I’ll never know.

Support the To Write Love on Her Arms movement by clicking here.

Lessons learned

I’ve spent days wracking my brain and my heart, price trying to understand why. Not just why it ended, see but why it happened. With each of my relationships in the past five years, patient I’ve known why that person or relationship came into my life and what I needed to learn from the experience.

The Adventurer came along two years after I started my business. For two years, work always came first – I missed family events, lost touch with friends, and certainly never made time for a man in my life. I won’t say that he made work drop in priority, but I finally made an effort to have a life outside of my career. And shockingly, the business survived. In fact, it grew. I found as I developed more balance in my life that I did a better job of my work. And so even though I was sad when the relationship ended, I walked away better for the experience.

With the Farmer, it was a little less about the relationship itself and more about what he personally taught me. Having said that, I will also always be grateful for the respect and courtesy he showed to me that I deserved. Back to the real lesson, though – I was in the middle of some serious family conflicts, and the Farmer guided me through the initial steps of repairing those relationships. He also made this stubborn, hard-headed woman see the importance of forgiveness. That people make mistakes, mistakes don’t make a person. And sometimes even if they aren’t sorry, you have to forgive them.

And then there was the Bad Boy. It was always tumultuous, but when it was good it was great. And that was the first relationship in which I began to open up and give myself to the other person. Though it was never “all in”, I learned a lot about being transparent and honest with both the good feelings and the tough ones. I knew when I walked away that I would be a better partner in my next relationship.

Try as I may though, I couldn’t see what I was supposed to learn or take away from Mr Right. I opened my heart completely, the relationship developed more quickly than any other, we started planning our life together… and then I had a bad day, I made a mistake, and he walked away. Nothing could convince him to forgive me or give me a chance to make it right.

I thought maybe there was something I was missing – a key element I wasn’t even aware of was making him that angry and unrelenting. Something to give me clarity on what I was supposed to have learned from the relationship. So I asked him to sit down with me and explain his perspective on what had happened.

There was nothing new. Nothing I wasn’t aware of, hadn’t apologized for, hadn’t learned from in the moment it happened. All he kept saying was, his career is more important than anything else and he can’t be distracted by a relationship that takes effort. I just shook my head in bewilderment (and then argued a bit) – how could any 31 year old man, who understands the short lifespan of his chosen career, not see the importance of having the person in your life who will be there whether the job is or not? How could you walk away from something that’s so positive in your life, convinced that the two can’t work together? And let me tell you, I did more to support his career and business in two months than I bet any other single person has. Logo, branding, photo shoots, social media development… don’t tell me I was detrimental to his career.

Now, did I add unneeded stress and distraction at one of his most important competitions of the year? Yeah, and I couldn’t be sorrier for that. Does that mean I don’t support him and wish for his greatest success? Certainly not.

So as I was driving home, trying to control my tears and figure out just what the Universe wanted me to get out of this, I realized maybe it was nothing. Maybe this is just supposed to be affirmation of how far I’ve come. Because five years ago that was me – putting career first, holding onto every “wrong” I felt someone dealt me, closing myself off to protect my heart getting hurt. Maybe in this instance I’m the teacher.

The things that matter

I saw this on Pinterest  and loved it. It just hit home.

My entire life, pharmacy I had a list of “traits” that I was looking for in a man. You know, the ones all us ladies have: good looking, well employed, honest, responsible, blah, blah, blah. Plus a few unique ones such as agricultural background, doesn’t want kids, accepting of my spiritual beliefs… It wasn’t until this spring that I began to look at things differently, to open my mind and my heart.

I realized that not one of those things mattered. Yeah, sure, honesty and responsibility are important characteristics, but that’s all they are – a couple of small characteristics of a complete person who is so much more. And let’s be real – there are moments when each of us will act out of character to who we really are. It only took me 29 years to understand that I shouldn’t be looking for traits, but rather opening my heart to find the person who would help me become my best self, who would love me at my best and my worst, who I would want to give all of myself to.

And when I changed my heart, it changed my life. God, the Universe, whatever you want to call It – It doesn’t provide just because you ask, It provides when you are ready for what It will give you. I asked for a lot of things for a long time; when my heart was really ready for what I needed, then it was provided.

When I met him, it was like an “aha” moment. I learned about my spirituality and belief system. I took another step in my personal growth. And I saw a glimpse of the rest of my life.

I am gaining a better understanding of the things that matter.

Dec 9, 2010 - Spirituality    No Comments

A love without end

“Anyone who loves in the expectation of being loved in return is wasting their time. Love for the sake of love itself.” – Paulo Coelho

You may have noticed by my reading list that I am a big Paulo Coelho fan. I also follow him on Facebook and love his daily quotes, stuff reads and inspiration. Today, he posted the quote included above.

When I consider this from a general love-everyone perspective, it seems one of the greatest truths in life. If we love the people and world around us expecting to receive that love back, we may miss the greatest reward – giving freely of ourselves. I think when we open our hearts to other people, animals, nature, life, we also open our hearts to ourselves. Our souls grow. (reading: The Valkyries)

Now, receiving that love back (I like to call it Karma) is amazing. But expecting it will only leave us empty and discouraged. There is much more to be gained and appreciated when we love without reserve and without calculation.

However, I have been asking myself all day if the truth of this statement also applies to romantic relationships? Certainly, we can’t “keep tally” with our Loves. But what if one person continually gives and receives far less in return? Is that a healthy love? Or will loving unconditionally without end and not being given the same eventually cause emotional harm?

At the same time, I recall a quote that went something along the lines of, “just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you in the best way they can.”

Perhaps I am interpreting the meaning incorrectly. Do you understand it differently? What are your thoughts?

Nov 22, 2010 - Spirituality    1 Comment

A questioning heart

Whatever you believe, see believe it with all your heart.

My history with religion and spirituality has been a “wicked, page twisted road” (anyone know that tune?). From the time we were born, salve mom took me and the bros to church every Sunday.

Then I went through a couple of experiences in a very short time that had me beginning to evaluate the beliefs I had grown up with. When I started to really think about it, I found that my personal beliefs didn’t align with those of my family or the church.

For a long time, I focused more on what I didn’t believe than what I did. Then this spring I was dating a fellow whose beliefs differed greatly from mine. We often discussed our personal beliefs and challenged each other to defend our theological stances. And finally, I was forced to start truly examining my heart and the many different systems of belief that exist in the world. I thank him for that.

It’s been an interesting year as I’ve grown spiritually, and personally. But I now have peace in my heart and a greater love for the world around me.

If you are comfortable sharing, I would love to hear about your journey.

Note: Many people and tools helped me find clarity on my spiritual beliefs. I would like to thank Teamy for the reading recommendations, Bestie for the support and C&K for reintroducing me to yoga and journaling.

Jul 6, 2010 - Spirituality    2 Comments

Open or closed

Some of you know I have been on a spiritual crusade to learn more about the various beliefs people hold. The journey thus far has been very interesting as friends have shared with me their personal faith and beliefs, approved resulting is some thought-provoking discussions.

Tthe opportunity was presented to further my research into Islam, sale and I spent the afternoon at the Canadian Islamic Centre having a very open discussion with one of their staff. She was happy to share Muslim beliefs and culture with me, cost answered all my questions happily and honestly, and even invited me to watch asr (afternoon) prayer. And at the end of the day we called each other “friend”.

Canada (and many other developed countries) are home to a vast array of religions, cultures and nationalities. As this will likely only continue to grow, we have two choices: to allow our lack of knowledge to breed miscommunication and further animosity, or to learn about one another with an open heart. I certainly have a better understanding of many Muslim norms and will no longer shake my head when I see a woman wearing hijab.

This quote from Paulo Coelho sums up my thoughts on spirituality and religion:

To believe in your choice you don’t need to prove that other people’s choices are wrong.