Changing Patterns

We all have ways of doing things in our life. Over time, they become patterns. For example, my family knows that my morning pattern once I wake up begins with my going to the bathroom, filling up my water glass, if it is not already filled from the night before, then doing my morning spiritual ritual – five things I am grateful, what is inspiring me, what my intention is for the day and taking a few minutes to reflect on the thought for the day. We all have patterns in our life.

Sometimes others become so accustomed to our patterns that out patterns become important to them as well. Some of the patterns in our life have been a part of our life for a long time; others are newly formed.

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The Lens of Love

Whenever I go to the ophthalmologist’s office, they check my eyes to see how my vision is doing. While they are able to see behind my eye and assess all kinds of information about my vision, they are unable to assess how I see people. see there is more to our vision then just whether or not it is 20/20 or if we need corrective lenses or contacts to enable us to see better. When it comes to seeing others or ourselves the only lens we need to wear is a lens of love. How we see others and ourselves is about us and where we are at in our journeys. If we cannot see ourselves through a lens of love, then how can we see others through that lens? The lens of love is unconditional. Some refer to this as agape love, a love that transcends the ability to be frustrated. It cannot be frustrated because there is no expectation attached to it. When we see others and ourselves through this lens of unconditional love, it means we have released our expectations for others and ourselves. When we see ourselves getting frustrated with someone because they have not fulfilled my expectations, it is a signal that our love for them conditional.
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To agree or not agree, that is the question.

So here is my question for this week? What are you choosing to agree to and what are you choosing not to agree to any more? I have been spending a lot of time the last several months, well maybe years now, reflecting on what I agree to and what I use to agree to and no longer do and what I don’t agree with. Perhaps what got me thinking about this recently are conversations with my students, who even at the beginning of the semester, are comparing themselves to others in the class and assuming that they are inferior to their peers. What I have been saying, well actually typing, as this is an online class, is that you have to agree you are less and that someone else is more to feel inferior. Others may treat you as if you are inferior, but unless you agree that you are inferior, you are not. How many times in your life have others tried to make you feel inferior? Ok, now how many times have you agreed with them in your mind? How many times have you told yourself that you are not enough of something or too much of something?
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It's all about the journey!

Last week, I talked about self-love as the greatest love of all. After I wrote it, someone emailed me and said self-love is harder then I thought or made it sound. This person said they tried waking up in the morning committed to loving themselves that day, but before they got too far away from the bed, if that far, the self-judgment began to kick in. It is important to remember that self-love is something that grows stronger over time. I love myself for who I am right now. When I look back over the last year or even six months, I can see how my self-love is stronger today then it was six months ago, or a year ago. I am also mindful that a year from now my self-love will be stronger then it is at this very point in time. Self-love is something we must practice every day until we master it in the same ways we have mastered self-rejection and self-judgment. So where do we start?
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The Day I Realized I Was Allergic to Drama

It’s funny how sometimes you go through life and do not even realize that you are allergic to something. For example, I was 54 before I realized I was lactose intolerant. I am a self-admitted cheese addict. I love cheese. I am not sure I could ever go from vegetarian to vegan because for me everything tastes better with cheese on it (ok, maybe not ice cream or cold cereal, but just about everything else). I never even realized I was lactose intolerant until I gave up dairy products for lent one year. Zoë, my life partner, very lovingly brought it to my attention that I was being a little less musical. Ok, for those of you who did not get it, I was not farting as much, did I think that had anything to do with my not eating dairy products. Lo and behold, when I looked up the symptoms of lactose intolerance there it was flatulence. I discovered my allergy to drama in much the same way.
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