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~ The Key Is ~ Feeling Worthy
~ The Key Is ~
Perfectionism was introduced to me
at a very early age.
Unfortunately, it has hung around
and has been more than just a stage.
What is the purpose of perfectionism?
Must we really strive for such a state?
If we do, continual dissatisfaction
will become our ultimate fate.
Academically, were my marks ever good enough?
Socially, was I a good-enough friend?
Did I achieve enough in my younger years?
My good-enough doubts seemed to have no end.
As a daughter, was I good enough?
When I married, was I a good-enough wife?
Judgment has always been
a very significant part of my life.
As a parent of three precious children,
I still wonder until today
if I am a good-enough mother,
parenting and loving my way.
It seems that whatever I do,
I tend to judge and compare.
I am far too harsh on myself,
quite unforgiving and most unfair.
What standards have I set?
Have I raised the bar too high?
To whom am I comparing myself,
and for goodness’ sake, why?
how much harder could I try?
My most recent doubts
have surrounded my new career;
if I am a good-enough writer and speaker,
I have not yet made it very clear.
I used to doubt and question,
and place others on a pedestal much higher than me.
I cannot believe how pathetic I had been
in the way that I allowed myself to see.
With my eyes now open
to this harsh and unfortunate fact,
I would like to teach myself
a new way to react.
The truth is that I am always good enough
in whatever role I choose to play,
as all I can give is my very best,
at any given moment—every day.
I may not be proud of all that I do,
or all that I say, think, or feel.
But what I can say for certain
is that I am always real.
I am definitely far from perfect;
no doubt, I have my share of “stuff.”
Yet now I believe that all aspects of me
are, undoubtedly, good enough.
No matter how hard I work on myself,
some days I will lose my way.
Trusting that I’m good enough makes it easier
to pick myself up the very next day.
Perfect is a word
that I seldom choose to use.
If perfection is what you strive for,
then be prepared to lose.
Everyone has their own definition
of what is perfect in their eyes.
My vision of the perfect place
may be one that you simply despise.
Are you prepared to let go of judgment,
to embrace and let good enough in?
When you try it some day, you will realize
that your outcome is always win-win.
For if you feel worthy and good enough,
then the world will treat you that way,
and instead of endless pressure,
you’ll bring joy and balance into your day.
If you always feel that you need to be better,
you’ll end up chasing what you will never find.
Your lack of self-worth will be justified,
and you will always feel one step behind.
In hindsight, perhaps I could have been more,
but I am finally satisfied with where I am.
And no matter what, I am determined to be
my all-time greatest fan.
Now please do not misinterpret
the message that I’m trying to relay;
feeling good enough does not mean
that I’m settling for less, in any way.
My personality is such that I will always have
high expectations and standards too.
But nowadays I appreciate the fact
that there is only so much I can do.
With different stages come different thoughts;
age often determines the way you reflect.
High school students applying to universities
may disagree with good enough, and highly object.
In midlife I have come to realize
that some truths can be redefined.
Perhaps I cannot generalize,
because these truths, in theory, are mine.
My life experiences have led me to believe
that feeling good enough is most freeing.
This is a lesson that is waiting to be taught
to every human being.
Embracing the Feeling of Good Enough
~ The Key Is ~ Recognizing That Faith Is a Decision
~ The Key Is ~
Recognizing That Faith Is a Decision
Dear God, I am appealing to you now,
as I am not sure where to turn,
nor am I understanding
what it is you want me to learn.
My youngest son is suffering
and is in pain every day.
I am running out of strength,
and even questioning how to pray.
I keep rereading my spiritual notes,
wondering just where I went wrong.
I am searching for the tools
that will somehow keep me strong.
Faith is a decision;
I know this is true,
but sometimes I really wonder,
Dear God, just where are you?
“You are never given more than you can handle,”
is what my dear mother would always say.
So what’s with all of the curve balls
that you are presently throwing my way?
I know that you move in mysterious ways,
and that your timing may not exactly be mine,
only I find it easier to rise to the challenges,
when they appear just one at a time.
I don’t want to resent or to doubt you,
nor do I want to beg or insist.
My intention is not to be angry,
to fight, or ever to resist.
I want to accept, to trust,
and even to explore the silver lining.
I want to find the gift,
and to have faith in your timing.
Yet, I have to be honest about how I’m feeling—
so off balance, confused, and misaligned.
My ego is loving the drama,
and is getting the best of my mind.
I am definitely not at peace,
nor am I in a state of flow.
I cannot seem to surrender,
and fear prevents me from letting go.
Dear God, do not let me abandon you,
please teach me how to have blind faith.
Guide me through my distrust
to a place of hope and grace.
My faith may have been shaken
through this most difficult time,
but in my heart I will always know
that you are a constant companion of mine.
There to share my burden,
and to accept my disbelief;
there to move me forward
out of the helplessness and grief.
Writing my very own prayer
is a kind of meditation for me.
It allows me to express myself,
giving me permission to simply be.
Thank you for listening
and for hearing me out.
Forgive me if I have said too much,
and please excuse my doubt.
I trust that you are orchestrating
a very Grand Design,
and that your Divine Agenda
may not always agree with mine.
Be patient and gentle,
for we, too, have our seasons.
Life just seems to unfold,
and you have your reasons.
I pray for knowledge of your will,
and the power to carry it through,
and when I require unconditional faith,
please show me how to believe in you.
Do not stand by and watch me,
as I force square pegs into round holes.
Open my mind to see the light,
and help me to nurture my soul.
Remind me that “this, too, shall pass,”
as my eyes well up and cry.
I cannot promise that I will listen,
but please, just continue to try.
In Search of the Silver Lining
~ The Key Is ~ Awakening Only Never to Fall Back Asleep
~ The Key Is ~
Awakening Only Never to Fall Back Asleep
Due to the experiences of the past few years,
my spirit has awakened in various ways.
I live life with gratitude and appreciation;
in fact, they are now an essential part of my days.
I begin each day with my morning prayer,
feeling most grateful and blessed,
trusting that life will unfold for me,
somehow, in a way that is best.
When my mother’s journey with cancer began,
so, too, did my gradual rebirth.
I began reflecting on all aspects of life,
and was determined to find my worth.
Although I did not experience this condition first-hand,
I journeyed alongside my mother and shared in her pain.
My most difficult confession would have to be this:
Her body’s physical loss was to be my spiritual gain.
I was awakened to a new reality,
and there was no turning back.
I began to see life from a new perspective,
in terms of what I have, not what I lack.
Two years later, however, I wonder—
do I continue to see life in this way?
To be perfectly open and honest,
I would have to say yes, and wihtout delay.
Not only do I walk the talk,
but I am spreading my messages too,
because the truth is, Dear Reader,
that I’m on a mission to relay them to you.
This doesn’t mean that I never get angry,
or that I am a fully enlightened being.
What it means is that I’ve been given new eyes,
and now pay attention to all that I’m seeing.
I observe myself and stand witness
to my actions, words, and thoughts;
I guide myself, daily,
using the wisdom that I’ve been taught.
It was a personal crisis that changed my life,
but does this really have to be?
Must you be awakened to life
only through suffering a tragedy?
It really hurts to think this way,
but this is simply how we measure.
We are dual beings who require the contrast of pain
to completely understand pleasure.
Once you have achieved greater meaning,
and your life has been renewed,
I ask you, sincerely, if this deeper meaning
is one that you can forever hold onto?
What a pity if, after you awaken,
you gradually fall back asleep.
Are the feelings within an awakened soul
not ones you can eternally keep?
Forgetting would mean having to relearn the lessons,
perhaps by reliving some of the pain and suffering too.
How unfortunate that would be,
and such an absurd thing to do.
Yet over and over human nature reveals
that this is simply how we awaken.
Evidence proves this pattern exists,
and that I am, by no means, mistaken.
When struck by a crisis, your initial reaction
is one of anger and disbelief,
but soon enough you learn how to transform
and move out of your place of grief.
You fight your greatest fight,
and learn your greatest lessons too,
for this is what overcoming obstacles
undoubtedly does for you.
And when, at last, the crisis has passed,
you feel so genuinely blessed,
and thank God, repeatedly,
for all that you’ve learned from the test.
You feel such intense gratitude
for this Gift of a Second Chance
that you promise to always partake in
the “forever grateful dance.”
But what soon naturally happens
is very plain to see.
Things quickly return to normal
for you and for me.
And by that, I mean you quickly forget
what you had learned just a few months before,
gradually moving away from gratitude,
soon enough, throwing it right out the door.
Even I recently found myself slipping
after a most serious issue had come my way.
No matter what we learn, the lessons fade—
unless we’re disciplined enough to ensure they stay.
This concept no doubt disturbs me,
because I know that it is true.
It leaves me wondering if, perhaps,
there is something more that I can do.
Since my son’s recent journey, my outlook has changed,
and I often remember the feelings of before and after.
That feeling that came with the doctor’s good news
is one that I would give anything to recapture.
I would love to bottle it up and use it,
for every appropriate time,
for it would keep things in perspective,
and remind me that all will be fine.
It is not my intention to change human nature,
rather to show you the process first-hand,
to open your mind to some important issues
that I would like you to understand.
You need not wait for a crisis to hit
before you turn your life around.
The concept of change is possible
long before you hit the ground.
And once you have achieved
your new state of being,
you need not ever return
to your old way of seeing.
If you are given the Gift of a Second Chance,
or shall I say, the Gift of Rebirth,
remember all of the lessons and the learning
that now define your worth.
Hold on to them and pay it forward,
for this is what you have been chosen to do.
After all, why else would God have given
this Gift of a Second Chance to you?
Questioning the Awakening Process
and Forever Grateful for My New State of Being
~ The Key Is ~ Appreciating the Falseness of Fear
THE FEAR FACTOR
~ The Key Is ~
Appreciating the Falseness of Fear
I have struggled time and time again,
and for far too many years,
to lose or even partially let go of
some very debilitating and irrational fears.
Thankfully, I have recently begun my unwrapping,
and in many areas I have set myself free,
yet my desire to cling to a few of my fears
continues to haunt and paralyze me.
I have come to view my fear as a flaw
that I cannot fully shake.
I’m embarrassed and ashamed of the bad habits,
which I cannot seem to break.
Although I do not want
to suck the life out of my days,
I have succumbed to the notion
that this is simply just my way.
As a result, I feel like a failure,
resisting this fearful side of me,
which leaves me alone in my invisible suffering,
one that no one can possibly see.
Does this sound like a familiar story?
Do you carry some demons of your own?
Please don’t deceive yourself into believing
there are no fears that you have known.
At some point or another, you have found FEAR:
“False Evidence and made it Appear Real.”
We have all experienced our share of fear,
and know exactly how it makes us feel.
It can debilitate and weaken you,
often disabling and taking over your mind.
It is limiting and constricting,
and is not very hard to find.
Eastern wisdom says it’s part of the ego,
your false self or your shadow side,
which is full of fears and imperfections—
all the things you choose to hide.
It seems that what I have chosen
is safety and predictability too.
I have sentenced myself to a lifetime
of reenacting all that I do.
Up until now I may have been satisfied
to live out my life in this way.
But I recently read a most intriguing book
that led me to change the script of my play.
Without a villain or a conflict,
a hero’s virtue cannot be put to the test.
Likewise, it’s the darkness that helps to remind you
of the many ways that you are blessed.
What is the message, you wonder,
that I am trying to impart?
Befriend your fears and your shadow side,
and embrace them with all of your heart.
Use them to serve you,
to reclaim those lost parts of you.
Let go of “this is who I am”
and find the real you that is true.
Admit to your imperfections,
and they will dissolve and even transcend;
will be your inevitable end.
Find and receive the gifts
that your shadow side is trying to present,
and eventually your fears
will no longer be yours to resent.
I wish you well on your journey,
and please know that we can do this together.
We all have storms, however big or small,
that we are somehow going to weather.
I would now like to make a vow,
on this first day of my forty-second year,
to further unlock and let go of
my tendency to manufacture fear.
Although I have set this intention,
I’m no longer ashamed of any aspect of me.
I have given myself permission
to accept all of my parts and set myself free.
Trust will be my companion—
together we will walk, side by side,
and my shadow will no longer be
a secret place for fear to hide.
To have a shadow is not to be flawed;
in fact, it means that you are whole,
proving, once again,
the dual nature of your soul.
Accepting My Shadow Side
and Loving All of Me
~ The Key Is ~ Choosing the Proper State of Mind
STATE OF MIND
~ The Key Is ~
Choosing the Proper State of Mind
When given the keys
to open your mind,
a beautiful life
is what you will find.
You see, life is merely a reflection
of your current state of mind.
Your thinking will always determine
what it is you are able to find.
Something may be sitting
right before your very eyes,
but if you do not choose to see it,
it can take you by surprise.
Some say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
I say, “Turn that thought around,”
for if you do not believe it,
it will never be found.
Do you choose to see the world in color,
or simply in black and white?
Do you prefer to sit in darkness,
or are you one who seeks out the light?
Life happens, every moment,
and, sometimes, it is out of your control,
but there is a part of you that is untouchable;
you have a spirit and unbreakable soul.
No matter the circumstance,
whatever the news,
your thoughts will always be
only yours to choose.
No matter the crisis,
whatever you’re going through,
your response to it
is, ultimately, up to you.
The world will attempt to convince you;
your ego will try to persuade you as well,
but you are the one with the final say.
What story would you prefer to tell?
Will you choose to resist and blame,
and become a victim of attack?
Will you accept and seek out the blessings,
or choose to live from a place of lack?
In the real world there is only what is;
there is no evidence of what should be.
What is clearly defines
a person’s reality.
Although the circumstances
may be far from ideal,
letting go of what if
will help you change the way you feel.
Did you know that thoughts are harmless,
until you attach to them as if they are true?
Likewise, a situation is neutral,
until it is otherwise defined by you.
If you think a negative thought for long enough,
it’s bound to become a negative belief.
And whether or not it is true or false,
it can cause a tremendous amount of grief.
Fascinating, isn’t it,
the power of the mind?
You can either respond with anger,
or find a way to be kind.
Life is yours to process,
not necessarily yours to understand.
And it certainly doesn’t always
go smoothly or according to plan.
You need not ever feel stuck,
or in a gloomy place of despair.
When you change your perspective,
things may not seem so unfair.
With the proper mindset, you’re unlimited;
all can be achieved or overcome.
This is one of the greatest pieces of wisdom
that I could give to anyone.
So when life happens and you’re asked to respond,
try to make the better choice.
Ignore the calling of your ego
and choose to hear your inner voice.
Seek out the blessing,
the silver lining, and the gift.
Trust that the lesson will follow,
and your world will undoubtedly shift.
Can you see the beautiful cycle—
state of mind, state of being?
I sincerely hope that I’ve opened your eyes
to a new way of seeing.
The journey of life includes
both the joys and challenges too.
Your level of enjoyment
will always depend on you.
Now please find and use the keys
to maintain a balanced state of mind.
Blossom and expose the beauty
that you were meant to find.
Allow the real you to emerge;
live Life Unwrapped and Mind Unlocked today!
Celebrate this beautiful journey of yours
in every possible way.
Choosing to See the World in Full Color