The Wiccan celebration and ritual for Imbolc is fast approaching February 2nd. Imbolc brings the end of winter and of course a time of great change toward spring. Spring, even here in the desert southwest means new, rebirth, regeneration. I find that I often feel uncomfortable with the new because it causes me to reach out and expand my vision. This may be painful and I don’t like the pain that comes with change.
My life at times is cozy and gives me a curious kind of comfort and reassurance. When lonely or anxious or hopeless, I have at times turned toward unhealthy behaviors. I am used to it and don’t need to do much to keep on going in the same old way.
Suddenly, I have seen the error of my ways. Discovery, disgrace, legal issues, isolation, despair, the loss of a partner, the contempt of friends – all possible consequences of that cozy, complacent turn to my old behavior. Yes, I may have awakened one day to find that my old behavior ruined my life! This awareness has caused me to begin reaching out for the hard process of change.
Making difficult change is painful, but that pain is preferable to the agony caused by the inevitable outcome of unhealthy behaviors.
- Change is Painful (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Embracing the Change (mike.kaply.com)
- Enabling And The One You Love (psychologytoday.com)
“Every forward step we take we leave some phantom of ourselves behind.” –John Spalding
There are some people who knew all too well the person I was – before I started to focus on becoming a more emotionally healthy person through personal growth. I know that a person can’t do the kind of work I have on myself and remain unchanged. However, for whatever reason, these people cling to the toxic images in their minds of my former self. I know that each day brings more depth to my spirituality, and with that comes change.
A friend of mine once shared with me that he begins each day by saying out loud, “O.K. God, surprise me!” Although each day brings new challenge, the one thing it won’t bring is perfection. I know that each day I can expect a mixed bag of experiences and all kinds of emotions to match.
If I begin to feel discouraged because of someone’s inability or refusal to see how different I have become, or even negative about life in general, I cultivate an attitude of gratitude by looking back at how far I have come. I remind myself, its progress I’m looking for in myself, not perfection. There’s always something to be grateful for, including the ability to be grateful!
- The Priceless Gift of Personal Growth (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- “A Letting Go” for the Holidays (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Damn Heels Hurt! When In Pain, Who Knows Best Where it Hurts? (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- S.T.A.R. A Tool to Choose Healthy Alternatives (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- For All This We Can Be Grateful and Joyful (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
“Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free. Tis a gift to come round to where we ought to be. And when we find a place that feels just right, We will be in the valley of Love and Delight.” — Appalachian folk song
As I focus more on positivity, I find myself taking time to feel gratitude and joy. My true Self is emerging and becoming more present every day. For this I am grateful. I am taking those all important “baby steps” to rebuild my self-esteem. I am worthwhile and lovable, and for all this I am grateful.
Just as I have come to know joy, I have known sorrow and I will know both again because that is the nature of life. If I trust that the Universe is turning everything that happens to good, I can truly say, “Thy will, not mine, be done.” Is it asking too much to be grateful for everything that happens to me? I must admit that on some days, it certainly seems so. But I have found that those days pass, and after they do, I once again begin to see my purpose in life. It is then that I feel content, knowing that I have the promise as well as the reality of this new life I have chosen.
“What you think about expands” — Alan Cohen
What we think, our attachment to and interpretation of our Affirmations are positive, personal statements that enhance self-esteem and a healthy attitude. Focusing our attention on an affirmation creates energy for the positive to develop. It also breaks the pattern of fear-based thoughts and self-defeating rumination.yields the result.
Unfortunately, by reciting an affirmation, one des not magically bring forth the desired outcome. The reading of affirmations is one of many tools to help one’s self in the deep exploration of the true self. Affirmations are best used along with conscious awareness, self-honesty, truthful living, love, forgiveness and acceptance of one’s self and others.
Many years ago, a dear friend presented me with an affirmation jar. Inside are 1″x6″ strips of paper in a bright display of primary colors: yellow, blue, green, purple, pink and red. Each strip of paper has a unique affirmation that goes something like:
“I unconditionally nurture myself today”
“Lightheartedness is an part of all that I am”
“I trust in the good and release my need to control”
“I am an enthusiastic participant in the process of co-creation”
“I willingly release harbored emotions, forgiving myself and others”
I don’t know how many originally came with the jar from my dear friend, but there seem to be hundreds! Many have been added over the years, either by myself or from friends along the way. I like to begin each day by pulling an affirmation. I’ll clip it to my calendar for the day, or place it on my computer monitor if I’m going to be doing a lot of writing. Just as long as it is somewhere that keeps that thought in my mind. Some days, I’ll use the affirmation that I pulled as the basis of my journaling, or even my blogging. I try to repeat my affirmation several times to reinforce its strength.
Gratitude for the abundance that is mine and that is to come is always heartfelt, just like the gratitude I shall always have for my dear friendwho gave me one more tool to manifest wholeness and inner peace.
“Whom they have injured, they also hate.” — Seneca
When someone has something we want, we may be surprised at the depth and suddenness with which envy can overwhelm us. One moment, we’re happy; the next, we’re filled with longing. Once we become honest with ourselves and admit we feel envious, we can start to work on ridding ourselves of it. We have uncounted blessings in our lives, and if we simply take the time to count them, envy will fade from our mind as gratitude takes over.
Gratitude can help release envy especially when we share our feelings underneath the envy. Our challenge is to accept ourselves as we are and let that be enough. It is, in fact, more than enough because all that we are comes from the Universe. It’s better to keep seeing ourselves as the proverbial glass: half-full, not half-empty. We can bless and release whatever person, event, or thing that led to the envy so that we may be ourselves, whole, once again.