A Letter To Pain

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In the past, as some of you know, I wrote different letters to myself and recently, after reflecting on how far I’ve come, I think it’s time to write a letter to Pain.  Instead of blaming Pain for all the heartache it caused me over time, I’m going to look at Pain from a spiritual point of view and how it changed me into the woman I am today.

One thing I know for sure is that we always have a choice in our lives, for every decision that comes our way which makes us accountable for ourselves.  If things are decided for us, then we get to decide how to handle it.  What we decide becomes our new life path and leads us to exactly where we need to be in order to learn what we don’t know yet.  Even if it’s the second, third or hundredth time around.

Author Caroline Myss says there is no wrong path, we are all on the right path; but here’s the thing, we just might not be managing it very well.  We may have taken a detour along the way.  Therefore, in knowing we have a choice to get back on track and more aligned with who we really are; the path we are on always leads us home.  Back to ourselves and to our purpose.

 

Dear Pain,

Unfortunately, I know you well.  A little too well, actually.  I’ve seen you come and go throughout my life, sometimes disguised as pleasure, and I have to say, it is never easy or comfortable when you come to visit me.  Most of the time you appear without warning out of nowhere and end up making me feel scared, angry, disappointed, confused, upset, and hurt.  Your timing is incredible because it’s always inconvenient with my plans, forcing me to stop what I’m doing or take another detour.

However, these stops and detours have served a purpose while you were here.  All because of you, Pain, I found ways to handle you, heal you, and let you go.  There is no strength if there is no struggle and if there’s any silver lining to be found within you, Pain, this is it.  You’ve given my emotional muscles a real workout.

You see, Pain turned up the volume of the unworthy voices in my head and I believed them.  Pain knocked me down, but I fought to live.  Pain was my best teacher and worst nightmare all rolled into one.  I’ll never forget the lessons learned in the classroom outside the classroom.  Pain tried to make me fail but after a while, I passed the tests and received the blessing of insight.  Looking back, I see what needed to be learned and why.  So many rich meanings and a spiritual awakening occurred.

Pain, I can’t carry you around on my back anymore, you are too heavy and dark for me.  Not only do I need light, but I also need to feel light.  I finally realize Pain is a reverse role model of what not to do.

Here are some examples of what Pain brought me on the left, and on the right are some things Pain taught me:

Lies = Honesty

Mean = Kindness

Revenge = Walking Away

Selfish = Giving

Stealing = Generosity

Negative = Positive

Self-Righteous = Forgiving

Betrayal = Setting Boundaries

Quiet = Vocal

Closed Minded = Open-Minded

Ignoring Myself = Self-Care

Physical Symptoms = Exercise

Emotional Symptoms = Asking For Help

Holding On = Letting Go

Old Me = New Me

Thanks to you, Pain, I found new hobbies, interests, friends, work, perspective on life, parenting skills, awareness, and a new life.  Everything got better.  I even taught my kids how to handle you because unfortunately, they have seen you too.  Now I have more compassion, empathy, strength, understanding for others dealing with loss, suffering, and divorce.

Thanks again to you, I discovered the power of music, reading, writing, practicing mindfulness, living in the moment, accepting truths, and forgiveness is a gift I give to myself.

Writing is a big part of who I am, it leads me back to myself.  It is my life purpose, so much so that I wrote a book about you, Pain, and I still can’t believe it.  Don’t get too excited, just because I write about you doesn’t mean I like you.  I’m simply trying to understand and decode you for myself and others.  Happiness doesn’t come to me, it comes from me.  It is a choice and how I perceive life experiences.  Writing makes me happy.

You taught me the hard way to put the relationship with myself first, so I don’t put myself second with others.  I question what real love is, what do I want, need, from a meaningful relationship.  You showed me dealbreakers, pitfalls, narcissism, toxicity, and wove red flags in my face.  Now I ask more questions, and I’m careful with who I trust.  You’ve sent me difficult/selfish people, heartbreak, loss, tragic events, unfortunate circumstances to handle which taught me many things about myself and life.  Because of being cheated and deceived, I’ve become more vigilant and discerning.  Respect is a 2-way street, I  accept nothing less.  You certainly tested my patience and my ability to control my emotions.  Now I can see one of the reasons why you showed up was to protect me from other forms of pain.

At the moment,  I am practicing gratitude on a daily basis, my heart feels lighter, more peaceful.  I’m finished hiding behind you Pain, now I’m more obvious.  I found the courage to stand up and live my best life, imperfections and all.  What I’ve learned is this: if you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer.  If you focus on the lessons, you will continue to grow.  All because of you, Pain, I grew, learned, discovered, and even avoided you.  People came and went thanks to you.  I also apologize for being just like you at times, a royal pain in the A**!

The new me feels free, empowered, happy with myself,  and never gives up.  I can walk away from you, but with a grateful heart for all the life lessons.  I know I can’t live my life “Pain-free” but the next time you do arrive, I aim to be more prepared.

I never thought I would say this, but thank you Pain for showing up in my life, and for everything you’ve taught and brought me.   I’m exactly where I need to be in my life with my work, friends, family, love, and myself.  No experience goes unwasted, no mud, no lotus.  If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be me, right here, right now.

Dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

One of my favorite songs Never Give Up, by Sia is what I listen to while I go for my walks down by the river.  I love it, I hope you do too.

**Hello Everyone and Happy September!  Copies of Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak are still available at all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU ❤

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Project Self: Self-Betrayal

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Welcome to August everyone!  I hope you’re having a wonderful summer spending time with those you love and time on your own.  As promised, I am starting a new blog series titled “Project-Self” which will include several topics related to how we can take better care of ourselves.  Sometimes when we are busy taking care of everyone else, we forget that we count too and if our tank is empty, how can we give to others or be at our best?

My intention is to keep these blogs positive and reflect on life.  Self-betrayal is a great way to start this series because how many times do we put ourselves last, or people please to control an outcome?  Every single relationship begins with us, whether that’s at work, with friends, family, lovers, kids and especially with ourselves.  If you want love, you need self-love, if you want to trust, you need self-trust first.  If you want to be true to yourself and your needs, you cannot betray yourself.  Finding happiness begins within yourself first and once you can feel it, even in the slightest way, you begin to radiate and attract it.

To know yourself, you need to spend time with yourself.

Author Caroline Myss talks about knowing what your life purpose is and how you can be true to who you are without it costing your power.  She says when you betray your own happiness for the sake of others and their feelings, you are betraying yourself and what’s inside of you.  Your intuition never shuts off and you feel that nagging knot in your stomach.  Sound familiar?  I know I’ve been there before.  That’s how you know you’re going off your path.  Self-betrayal is when you feel you have to negotiate your sense of integrity, and you compromise who you are as a person.

When you no longer betray yourself and put your happiness first, you no longer feel like it is costing you your power, psyche, soul, you’re not confused or drained like you are losing yourself.

Compromising within a relationship is different and necessary if you want it to work.  If the choice enhances your spirit, you made a compromise.  If the choice drained your spirit, you just betrayed yourself.

If you are in a relationship where you are pretending that everything is ok when it truly isn’t, you are betraying everything in your heart and you can feel it.  Is that fair to you?  To the people around you?

Are we ever on the wrong path?  Caroline Myss says no, you are always on the right path but sometimes, you are just not managing it well.  You are making choices that are harming you and that’s why it is hurting.  When your life path begins to harm you, you’ve taken a detour.

What I’ve learned is that blaming other people for our choices is the easy way out because they may have done something bad, but we allowed it to continue.  Everything starts with us and what we are willing to tolerate.

For example, someone may have betrayed you in the past, and maybe you think that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you when in fact the ultimate betrayal, is the betrayal to yourself.   When you sell yourself short of what you want or need, you always lose at a very high cost. Not only that, Caroline Myss says when you do betray yourself, you are no different than the people who harm you.  Wow…and ouch!  That to me is a double whammy and a huge wake-up call to make a change in how I manage myself. I honestly never thought of it this way but she is right.  If we want to be happy, we need to find what makes us happy and do that as often as possible with people who bring out our best.  We need to realize that the opposite of self-betrayal is self-trust and being loyal to us.  We all want healthy relationships but we need to get healthy ourselves so we attract that in return.

These are the reasons I decided to start with the topic of self-betrayal to bring awareness and show you do count, it is not selfish to take care of yourself, you can do this while maintaining relationships, and be kind to yourself because you are so worth it.

Here is a short video of Caroline Myss in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, talking about self-betrayal.

For those who are new here… Welcome!!  For those who are returning, Welcome Back!! If you are interested in my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” it is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress.

“Project-Self” to be continued…

 

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen

 

 

Where Does Trust Start?

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How many times have you heard or caught yourself saying “I can’t trust that person” or “I’ll never be able to trust anyone ever again.”  Relationships of all kinds require the element of trust in order to be real and successful.  However, trust is often a sliding scale and where you land on it can vary with each day, person or situation.  We usually know where trust ends which is a betrayal of some sort but have you ever wondered the opposite?

Where does trust start?

“I always knew that George was hiding money from me, but I didn’t listen to myself.  Now that we are getting divorced, he’s not being honest with me about his money situation.  I trusted  him, instead of me and now I’m left with nothing.”

This person didn’t listen to themselves and put their trust in someone else which sadly ended in betrayal.   People talk about listening to their gut feelings which are our intuition and inner messages trying to tell us something.  If and when we put our trust in others, instead of in ourselves, that’s when we give away our power to someone else and set ourselves up for being used and betrayed.  It’s also when we point the finger and blame them and not us.  In the case of a betrayal, both sides play a role in the breakdown but when it comes to trust, it all begins with you.

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How often have you heard and felt your intuition telling you what is true or untrue and instead you ignored it, only to regret it after the fact?  A voice might say “You’re still with that person- why didn’t you leave?”  Author Caroline Myss says this is a betrayal to yourself and it hurts the most because deep down you know what to do but if you don’t trust yourself to do the right thing, your life begins to harm you.  That voice often speaks the truth we don’t want to hear but it doesn’t turn off.  When you start to pay attention by trusting your inner knowing, your trust issues with other people will slowly be resolved and it will be harder for them to betray you.

Going back to the original question of where does trust start?  It’s ironic because trust has nothing to do with the other person initially, but has everything to do with you, and once you can begin to trust yourself, you will be able to trust others and form strong, lasting and loving relationships.

Start trusting yourself first.

Self-trust + Self-love = Trusting, Loving Relationships with Others ❤

 

Much Love ❤

 

Jen
xo

3 Day Quote Challenge-Day 3

Hi Everyone!  I’m really excited about being nominated for another quote challenge and this time it’s by a very young, sweet blogger from England named Molly.  Her writings are not only entertaining but also based on real life topics and she’s also a great photographer.  I really liked her post 50 things to know about me.  She has a lot in common with many of you because she’s a Game of Thrones fan, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan and Harry Potter enthusiast!  It’s a joy to read her writings please check out her site.

For today’s quotes I will be basing them on Caroline Myss and her views on healing.  She is an amazing author and spiritual person who helped me bounce back tremendously ❤

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I am nominating anyone and everyone for this quote challenge, please feel free to participate, it’s really fun!  Thank you again to Molly for nominating me for this quote challenge!

Much Love,

Jen
xo

The Inner Game of Tennis – Love vs. Fear

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Dealing with change and finding the positive silver lining hidden within our experiences are tough life lessons to be learned.  It sounds pretty straight forward but when you are really in it, it takes every ounce of energy and focus to actually do it.  Easier said than done right?  Sometimes it feels like these life lessons and difficult decisions are being launched like tennis balls out of a cannon one after the other with no break in between to catch our breath while we use our racquet as a shield.

From what I have seen with many people, myself included, letting go or surrendering to what is can be the hardest life lesson to swallow because it’s scary and unknown.   Should I stay or should I go?  Should I control the situation or just accept it as it is? Will I choose to be a victim or a victor?  We fight to hang on and we fight to let go.  It’s that constant back and forth rally in our minds that keeps the Wimbledon inner game of tennis alive.

Is letting go giving up?  Not at all, it’s actually quite the opposite.

Caroline Myss wrote something that shook me to my core when I read it and I will share it with you.  When someone says “I want to get out of this circumstance, but I’m too afraid.”  She is betraying everything in her heart.  She’s making choices that are harming her and that’s why she’s hurting.  Her intuition is trying to tell her that.   When your life begins to harm you, know that you have taken a detour from your true path.  You are no different from the people who hurt you.  People know when they have betrayed themselves because the little voice inside says “You’re still with that person; why didn’t you leave?”  Your intuition speaks the truth that you don’t want to hear.  It also says “You’ve done everything you can so it’s time to let go and surrender.”

Wow.  “I am no different from the people who hurt me.”  That was a huge light bulb moment and reading that was enough to make me want to let go.  It’s bad enough that someone or something is hurting you and by ignoring your own heart, you are hurting yourself on top of it.  Double punishment hurts.  I love Caroline Myss and her perspectives.

It’s been a tough match so far, that inner game of tennis is almost finished and silence is everywhere.  What will your next move be?  Time to focus, your opponent Fear is about to serve.

What a perfect opportunity to discover a new and unexpected strategy in your game.  By releasing someone so they can be where they need to be, do what they want to do and be with whomever they want is actually an act of love and courage on your part.  Trust and respect yourself and let them go.  Let them be the destructive one, you be the kind one.   In that exact moment, you become more peaceful and free and you create the much needed space in your life for bigger and better things to come flowing in.  It leads you to the next.  Ah, finally the silver lining; acceptance and happiness.  And the crowd goes wild…

We all have our “stuff” we are dealing with but that doesn’t mean we can’t find our joy along the way.  Even a caged bird can find something to sing about.  And when you do find the courage to surrender to change and let go, you will fly like a free bird and think “why didn’t I do this sooner?”  Not only that, the tennis balls will stop flying at you and you will have victoriously won the match.

Congratulations…Love always wins.  At least at this game.

Tennis anyone?

“The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart.”  ~ Gary Zukav

 

Much love,

Jennifer