Daily Aligning with Love, Abundance, and Peace #40

Today, I’m so grateful and blessed that I have the ability to shift, change, and grow. When I saw the damage that the belief system, “People can’t change” created, I made the decision to start proving it wrong. First, I was blessed with watching someone I love shift, change, and grow immensely. Then, guess what, brain science proved it wrong too. Our brains have the ability to change and shift as we implement new belief systems and practices into our lives. That belief, if people are damaged, they will stay damaged, isn’t true. Now, this doesn’t mean YOU can change anyone else. YOU CAN’T!

People can only change if they want to. It’s an inside job, but here are some of the beautiful things I’ve discover on this journey of shifting, changing, and growing: The way I see others shifts, grows, and changes. If the person’s energy doesn’t align with the new energy I’ve acquired, they either fade out of my life or grow with me (I’m grateful for both). There is no force. I also attract new people (like a magnetic force) who are moving in the same direction as I am. Knowing these new truths has made me even more grateful to choose to shift, change, and grow in the direction of love, abundance, and peace.

The people who are in my life now are AMAZING! Even with all the fear, lack, and separation in the world, the magnetic pull of love, abundance, and peace is strong for the people who are committed to living in this energy.

Today, I commit to honoring my ability to change what no longer works in my life. If something isn’t working in my life, I can choose different ways to look at the situation. When I see that I’m not stuck in my thinking, I allow my feelings about the situation to shift. When I allow my feelings to shift from fear, lack, and separation TO love, abundance, and peace, a whole new set of options and possibilities opens up to shift, change, and grow. When I learned that I never have to be stuck with beliefs that don’t serve the way I want to live, I freed myself to become the best version of me. Not by changing anything outside of me or anybody else’s behavior, but by becoming responsible and accountable for the energy I project. Now, when I go down into fear, lack, and separation, I don’t stay there long AT ALL. I used to live there. Now, I just visit from time to time to learn where I still have work to do.

Today, notice if you have belief systems that are keeping you from living in the energy of love, abundance, and peace. Remember this isn’t saying we won’t have feelings of sadness, loss, fear, anger, etc. It means we wrap our feelings in love instead of numbing, running from them, or projecting them onto others out of fear. It helps me to visualize. Here are some examples:

  • Being wrapped in a protective cocoon/chrysalis so we may develop our wings to fly.
  • Being wrapped in the protection of an angel’s wings
  • Being held by a nurturing mother
  • Being protected and safe to heal in a white healing light

With Love, Abundance, and Peace,

©Rachael Wolff 2020

I Can’t Change You, You Can’t Change Me

My beliefs have never been changed by force. Each perspective of truth (belief) I’ve changed in my life has been based on if that belief serves the person I want to be and how I want to serve others. When I was younger, I didn’t consciously see my choice in how I viewed myself and the world around me.

Certain beliefs made me feel tense, angry, and rage-filled. When I would think about the thought/belief, my whole energy shifted and I often would feel sick and depleted. It took me a VERY long time and a whole lot of seeds from other people that got me to see I was making choices in my perspectives that were holding me back and keeping me prisoner.

There were some so deeply imbedded that it took voices from the Holocaust like, Viktor Frankl & Elie Weisel. Along with people like, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Byron Katie, and stories about Jesus and Siddhartha to help me see that I didn’t HAVE to continue to feel this inner world of pain. Those people were just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve talked to millions of people throughout my life. I read thousands of books. Nobody changed me, but I got the seeds and made choices on what to plant in my internal garden.

When I was young, I thought the world was against me. That belief didn’t feel good to me, because I can’t control how anyone else views me. 

What I do have power over is how I view and treat myself and how I treat others.

If I’m believing something that makes me feel like a prisoner of my perspective, I work on changing that. I found that EVERY time I engage in a perspective based out of fear, I feel like I’m a prisoner. Here is an example of another change I made:

I used to feel like a prisoner when other people would judge me based on a category/title they gave me or that I am naturally.

I changed my perspective to the understanding that people are going to judge me from their own perspectives of truth. That has nothing to do with who I AM. I know if someone speaks to me in a category of ALL: all women, all trauma victims, all white women, etc. that person won’t come close to seeing me, a person is only ever looking at me through their own perspectives of truth. If they want to lump me in an ALL category— That is their loss.

I love and respect myself. I take responsibility and accountability for my thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions.

IN THAT ENERGY, I FEEL FREE. In that freedom, I attract amazing people to my life from different genders, races, cultures, religious followings, political backgrounds, economic statuses, and so much more.The more open I stay, the more I change and grow. Not by force, by choice and action.

Though, no one else changed me, I didn’t change on my own. I got the opportunities to SEE through different perspectives. I got the tools to change. I could only do that by being open to listen to ALL different perspectives to see what fit and what didn’t based on the place I wanted to live from, which is FROM A LOVING PLACE. I’ve disagreed with many of people along the way who tried telling me how I “had to” or “should” think. I know that is part of their journey. I don’t have to make it mine.

I know from my education in science, religion, psychology, spirituality, and personal growth, I can’t project out what I don’t already have inside. If I wanted to live from a loving place, I had to love myself FIRST. I had to experience love from the source of self to even know what I was projecting out to the world. I had to find the voices of leadership through love and not fear.

I can’t make anyone else change, but I will do my best to project the energy that I want to see more of in the world. I will do my best to give the people who want to listen the same opportunities I got. I will listen to the voices of the unheard, and learn and grow from them.

I will keep choosing to do my best to contribute to LOVE in my thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions towards myself and others. You do you! I will be here to representing my perspectives of truth FROM A LOVING PLACE.

With Love, Gratitude, and Compassion, 

Rachael Wolff
Author of Letters from A Better Me
FromALovingPlace.com/book

What is True about Choices?

If you convince yourself you don’t have choices, you will CHOOSE to believe that is true.

If you convince yourself you ALWAYS have choices, you will CHOOSe to believe that is true.

I know which perspective I’m going to choose! Now, you get to choose for you.

Choices of Perspective

I’ve chosen both of these perspectives at different times in my life. One kept me a prisoner and held me under water. The other set me free. I refuse to believe I don’t have choices in how I view things. The perspectives I choose keep me from feeling trapped in any ONE thought or belief system. I LOVE THAT! I CAN CHANGE. I CAN tell others what has worked for me and what hasn’t. In the end, we each get the OPTION to believe whatever we focus our attention on. We will find ways to prove either side. Our perceptions of reality will ensure that. It all starts and ends within. 

I’ve made my choice to live by the voice that fuels the LOVE inside me. You can choose to tell me that is not possible in your life, and you will be right if that is what you believe to be true. 

I believed I was prisoner of my circumstances. NO ONE could convince me otherwise until I was ready to open myself up to see another way. That was and is my path to A BETTER ME.

With Love and Gratitude, 

© Rachael Wolff 2020

Author of Letters From A Better Me
Available in all formats and multiple countries
FromALovingPlace.com/Book

#PerspectiveChallenge: I, We, He, She, They, or It Should Have

PERSPECTIVE: I, WE, HE, SHE, THEY, OR IT SHOULD HAVE

We can give should a lot of power over our lives if we are not careful. I don’t care who we are shoulding. When we should a person or situation, we are fighting the reality of what is. Shoulding is a form of shaming ourselves and others. I used to use should haves to beat myself up in ways way beyond what anyone else could ever do to me. I used should to keep me prisoner of my self-proclaimed pity party. I also used should haves against other people and situations to keep me prisoner of my past and to punish them.  The should haves create toxic energy. The question is, do you really want to be carrying that around? If we carry that energy around with us, it will unconsciously seep into what we feel, think, and do. 

What should have been is an illusion and a toxic one at that. It is NOT reality. What happened is what should have happened, because it is what happened—that is reality. What are we going to do with what happened? No reason to waste time and energy on on should haves. Empower yourself and your energy to move you to make the changes you can make right now.

If we didn’t do something:

  • What did we learn from not doing it?
  • Are we committed to doing better next time?
  • What can we do right now to help us to move past our learning experience (let it go, forgive ourselves, pray, express gratitude for the lesson, etc.)?

If someone else or others didn’t do something:

  • What did it teach us about the person and/or group?
  • What choices do we have in the present to change the affect of their actions on our lives? 
  • How will be proceed with this person and/or people (accept, forgive, walk away, stand up to, report, etc)?

If we believe something should have been different:

  • What lessons can we take from the situation? 
  • What positives came from the situation?
  • How can we shift our energy to accept the reality of the situation?

TODAY’S PERSPECTIVE CHALLENGE

Challenge yourself to shift your perspective from should have to a more productive energy booster for you. Anytime you hear should have pop into your thoughts—challenge it. Ask yourself questions like the ones up above. See how your energy shifts. Be conscious of how you feel when you think should have

  • Where do you feel it? 
  • How does that feeling move through your body? 

After you have gained perspective, check in again. 

  • How does the thought feel? 
  • Where do you feel it? 
  • How is it affecting your mood to think about learning instead of fighting the reality of what already happened?

Have a perspective-filled day!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Today is My Focus for 2018

On the first day of 2018, I decided I wasn’t going to focus on resolutions. Instead, I tore off the back of last year’s desk calendar. I pulled out my old Oprah Magazines, Louise Hay calendars, and Maya Angelou quotes and got to work making myself an inspirational collage. I figured by looking for positive and inspiring words, sayings, and quotes I would get my head where I wanted it to be.

Thinking of life in terms of a year was too overwhelming to me. I’m focused on taking life one day at a time and using my inspiration board as the daily inspiration to keep me moving in the direction of becoming the best version of myself. I have no idea where my road is taking me. I used to be so focused on planning it all out, but nothing I spent so much time planning has come to be. My life looks much different than I could have ever imagined, and I have so much to be grateful for on a daily basis. Yet, if I chose to look at my life through different goggles, I could easily focus on what I don’t have. Seeing my life through those dark glasses doesn’t help me. I have days, I choose to wallow, but I’ve learned that is my choice and I can change my mind at any second of the day. I don’t have to be stuck in any one way of thinking.

After reading dozens of books on staying present, I realized that it is a really good idea. I can’t change the past, but I can find the lessons in everything I’ve experienced. I can forgive myself and others for the hard stuff. I can find the blessings in all the perceived good and bad I’ve experienced. Doing this helps me not be a prisoner of my past and a victim of my present and future.

As for the future, I’m going to face whatever hardships come my way head-on and count my many blessings. The Divine Source of love will take care of the rest. I know I’m here to serve humanity through eyes of love. I know opportunities and challenges will be brought to my life to help me grow and serve. That’s all I need to know. The rest will unfold however it needs to, why waste my time worrying about how that looks? Today, I choose to look at life with an open heart and mind. I’m just going to enjoy the journey and live life to the best of my ability.

Thanks for reading.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

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The World is Full of Good People: Focusing Our Energy On What We Want

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My daily routine includes scrolling my Facebook feeds of pages I’ve liked. All of these pages are there to surround me with the good energy I want in my life. I love seeing similar messages from different pages that inspire love, positive action, and moving people away from victim thinking. Every once in awhile, I will see messages that promote good people are hard to find… WHAT??!!! No, great people are easy to find if our energy is in the right place. If we appreciate the amazing people around us, more will continue to show up. If we tell the Universe that there are no good people, then we will be constantly seeking out the sick, unhealthy people to prove our point. We have to decide if we want the good people in our lives and acknowledge and appreciate that we have them. From the tellers at the bank, cashiers at check out, friends who reach out, we are responsible for recognizing them. If we are focused on the negative we will continue to get that check-out person who is more insulting than helpful.

This is the same for relationships, if we tell ourselves, there are no good men/ women, we will continue to put our energy into knocking people down, and attracting people to our lives that prove the point we sent out to the Universe. Keep the messages that you send out to the Universe clean. Embrace the feeling that the messages you send out are true. They will be, you choose if it is for your benefit or detriment. This is the Law of Attraction.

If we want better for our lives, we have to change the language we are putting out there. Every moment we spend knocking others down, we are taking time away from our own joy. Search out the good people in the world, put your energy there. They are not hard to find. Some sites are dedicated to showing people in their best lights. When we are ready to see the kindness in the world, it will start appearing all around us.

Most import, be kind to yourself, because you will have a harder time spotting it in the world if you are constantly knocking yourself down. You are worth more than that!!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

How I Grew From My Toxic Relationships

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If you are reading this, you probably either have been involved in or had a front row seat to watch someone else’s toxic relationship unfold. I have had the privilege of experiencing both, and yes I meant privilege. My toxic relationships are what got me healthy. It was like a boot camp for emotional/mental health. Does it work that way for all people? No, but it works that way for the people who ask to be better, stronger, braver, and more compassionate. Toxic relationships show us our darkest shadows and our biggest attributes. When we take the relationship by the reigns and start seeing it as an opportunity to look at ourselves, we come out shining!

(If you are involved in a physically abusive relationship, PLEASE consult with a professional who specializes in domestic violence. There are safety precautions that may be necessary. When we start getting healthier, an abuser can get more violent in the transition. Sick people like to keep us sick. They will do their best to keep us down. PLEASE, first and foremost always keep yourself safe. This doesn’t mean stay, it just means you have to use more caution.)

Awareness is Key

First, we must see our part in our unhealthy relationship. This wasn’t easy for me. There were many realities I avoided facing when I was involved in these relationships. I wish I could say that it only took one bad relationship to figure out my stuff, but I will just say, even in a healthy relationship, I still get faced with some of the darker sides of me. The difference is awareness and using healthy tools to not let darkness cast a shadow on my joy. Here is what I picked up along the way:

1. Law of Attraction is always at play

If we are in a toxic relationship, we attracted it to us. The question is why? My self-worth was part of that answer for me. I had no idea how cruel I was to myself. Over time, I  learned I could only accept the amount of abuse that I gave to myself. If it went over the cruelty of how I treated myself, I would leave. When I realized I attracted the relationships,  I saw that they acted as a mirror of how I was treating myself. I had to start to dig deep to figure out what it was that I didn’t like about myself. I will tell you, it wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of tears and layers of shame and guilt that went all the way back to childhood. OUCH! I didn’t realize how much I avoided looking at myself until I learned from a college professor that we are as sick as our partners. It may present differently, but if we are in the relationship we are responsible for our part of the sickness.

Another big piece of my attraction to these chaotic relationships  was codependency. I was attracting unhealthy partners because I needed to be assigned a savior role…YIKES! I don’t like admitting it, but I wanted to rescue someone from the trenches. Really, anything to avoid looking at what was holding me back.

After facing the darkest parts of me, I had to figure out what I did want in a relationship, so I made a VERY long list. I kept it positive and used language such as, I want someone who lives a healthy lifestyle. Instead of saying, I don’t want a smoker. I learned the hard way that when we focus on the don’t, we get it! If I love and respect myself, I will attract the same qualities in a partner.

2. If I’m reacting, I’m triggered

If I am engaging in the very behavior I’m condoning, I’m just as much at fault for the results. Here’s a lesson I needed to learn, there doesn’t have to be a screaming match. When two people are screaming at each other no one gets heard. We are not listening, we are fighting to be right.

When I’m hurt by my partner’s behavior, it’s usually because of some unhealed part of me from the past. I may be reacting to their defense mechanisms that were familiar to me from a previous relationship. I might be reacting to my old defense mechanisms. What I realized is that even just a silly word can throw everything off. The word may not even have the same meaning for the person in front of me, yet because I’m reacting to an unhealed hurt, I react out of fear.

3. I Can’t Hide from My Insecurities

We can’t hide from our insecurities. They will find us!! We need to deal with them instead of covering them up or masking them. All we will do is create problems that don’t need to be there. If we have jealousy issues, it is our job to look at ourselves before taking them out on our partners. If I don’t trust my partner to be loyal, I obviously have trust issues. Is  it because I chose a man who is not ready to commit? Have I lied to myself about how ready I am to be in this relationship? The truth is, when we are healthy we realize we don’t HAVE to trust the person we are with, we have to trust ourselves. We NEED to trust our intuition, guts, and instincts. When we are healthy, we are not carrying around all the hurts of our past. We aren’t held hostage by old relationships. When we are loyal to ourselves, we attract loyal people.

Any relationship, toxic or not is a great place to see where our insecurities are holding us back. My thoughts about my relationships show me so much about how my own internal dialog is getting in my way. As I get healthier, I have watched the dialog change. I have learned more efficient ways of communicating without taking my insecurities out on my partner.

4. If I Don’t Love Myself, I Won’t Attract A Healthy Partner

How can we recognize something we don’t know at our own core? My toxic relationships really pointed out how much I didn’t know about what love is. I would make excuses for abuse. I held onto empty words and promises. I allowed them to be disrespectful to me in private and in public, yet I would defend their love for me, or what I thought was love. The truth is, until I learned to love myself, I didn’t know what peace was. I had no idea how much I perpetuated my self-hate by the relationships I was choosing.

5. Giving Too Much is NOT Healthy

When I give to others to the point where I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not acting in a healthy manner. Self-care is essential. When I became resentful of what I was contributing to the relationship, because they weren’t giving back, I was putting their needs before mine. Not only does the law of attraction always work for me, but it always works for them too. If my partner wants someone who will take care of them and put them first. They put that out there. Maybe that is what they are used to, it may be what their mom did for them. The vicious cycle continues and we are now the caretaker they attracted. I attracted them, because I wanted to feel needed.

Now, I realize that my self-care is important. If I’m giving too much, I stop taking it out on my partner and I start putting the attention I was putting into them into taking care of myself. This can be hard getting used to, but I can tell you it makes for much healthier relationships. We both get the best of me, and I am able to receive and recognize the best in return.

6. I’m Responsible for My Happiness or Unhappiness

No other person can control my feelings. I choose how I feel. I choose the actions that lead me to feeling better our worse. I choose to perceive situations that feed the direction I’m subconsciously or consciously going. Learning that I’m not responsible for other people’s thoughts and feelings helps me continue to grow. My job is to do the best I can at whatever I’m investing my time in. If that is not enough for someone, then maybe we are not the right fit. I need to hold myself accountable for what energy I’m putting into a relationship. If I don’t want a toxic relationship, I can’t put out toxic energy. I need to watch where I’m focusing my thoughts and feelings. Am I getting caught up in other people’s drama? Am I watching television that makes me feel anxious and angry all the time? Can I see more solutions or more problems?

After figuring those things out, I need to figure out what actions I need to take in order to engage in a more loving energy. Do I need to volunteer my time to a cause? Do I need to spend more quality time with loved ones? Do I need to invest more time and effort into self-care?

Overall, I grew by understand that I had to change in order to change the relationship. Leaving toxic relationships behind was a true achievement for me. They taught me SO much and made me the loving person I am today. I’m grateful for the lessons and the awareness. Life is now what I hoped it would be. Even my darkest days have light, because I know I’m growing stronger, braver, and more loving with each passing day.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

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Personal Responsibility is the Answer to a Better Tomorrow

Introduction

Some of my readers may know that I graduated college in December 2015. I went in as single mom in my mid 30’s and graduated right before I turned 40. Recently, I have been re-organizing my work space and started reading some of my olde papers. This piece was one of my first college papers. The quote below came from the reading I did for this paper. I am so grateful for the experience, because it has given me so much more to bring to the world.

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Personal Responsibility is the Answer to a Better Tomorrow

“Violence teaches only violence. Stress teaches only stress. If you clean up your mental environment, we’ll clean up our physical one much more quickly. That’s how it works,” Byron Katie states in “The World Doesn’t Need to Be Saved” Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World (191). Why are fear tactics being used to create changes in the world? Why is there such an attraction to pointing fingers outward instead of looking at what oneself is personally responsible for? Many people are willing to point the finger at government, schools, churches, and organizations, but the problem is having someone else to blame. We are a global community, and we all must take personal responsibility in order to change our selves, our community, and our environment for the better.

The first step is to take responsibility for one’s self. This is where it all begins. The media, politicians, family, and people who surround a person play a big part in how he or she sees the world. Many of these sources teach people that the responsibility of their problems is someone else’s fault. There is always enough blame to go around. The answer is in not focusing on who is to blame. My mother taught me, “Nobody can make you feel anything.” She demanded personal responsibility for my actions, choices, and feelings. If I reacted out of anger, it is not the other person’s fault. There is only one place to look for blame and that is in the mirror. One must choose to live a life empowered by choices over being victim of others. In this realization there is compassion, love, acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, and gratitude. In “Embodying Change” Cheryl Pallant states, “We see how the world ‘out there’ filters and reflects our inner world; conversely, our inner world impacts the outer world. The two are intimately twine” (187).

Who am I to judge the “outer world” that I created? What does my “outer world” say about how I live? Personal responsibility starts with self. When people get to this place they start operating from a place of awareness. They start to see the facts and see how their actions contribute to the problem. This leads an individual to acceptance of where he or she is right now. Only when the first two elements are accomplished action can be taken. This action is guided by a place of calm. Each individual is empowered because changing is his or her choice. This is how it is possible to attract others to one’s cause. People can be inspired from a positive place or a negative place. A loving place is the only way a loving change will occur. Energy will just get lost in the toxic fumes of one’s emotions if the path of fear is chosen.

The next step is personal responsibility in community. Every living thing is a part of a global community. Everything on this planet has a part to play. A few examples of life that contributes naturally are plants, trees, bacteria, animals, and microorganisms. Humans start life contributing naturally, but then all the outside contributors come in creating separation from the natural world and other people. This is the beginning of the conflict with community. When a person separates themselves from others, he or she creates one party as right and one party as wrong. The power of community comes from awareness that every person on the planet has at least one thing in common, every one lives on the Earth together. The more similarities that are looked for, the more that can be found. This creates a much larger community.

The next part in the process is to accept the differences of the other community members. No one on this planet is perfect. Each person may teach a wonderful lesson if others can look at the contribution with love. Even people who some might be judged a “horrible human-being” has contributed something to the planet.   People may think he or she is bad, but the lessons of compassion, empathy, sympathy, strength, courage, and love that come from what the person has done have purpose. Accepting does not mean agreeing with. It simply means the reality of the situation is known, and the only thing to do is to feel the feelings that come with it. This is when action comes into play. Something bad happened, but it brought a community together. Now, what can that community do to contribute to changes for the better? There are examples of this in churches, schools, support groups, and housing developments. All of these environments create amazing opportunities for community. The things that are accomplished when people work together are astounding. Things can go one way and create division among others or create so much love and expanded community. Those are the moments tears are brought to the eyes of many as they watch people and communities showing up for people who are hurting.

The more communities a person can become a part of without judgment of others, the more positive action comes from the community. The devastation that came to the US on September 11, 2001, is an example of this. After the event occurred, a beautiful community formed united in the healing from the event. Many people reached out from all over the world and stopped caring about the things that separated each other. Each person had a choice to be a part of this community or not. It is one’s personal responsibility to make the choice on being a part of the global community. Every person on the planet is invited. This community excludes no one. It is something we all have in common. Making the choice to be a part of a community is something a person has to feel drawn to, or the purpose it is meant to serve gets distorted.

The final area of personal responsibility is to the environment. This falls into place naturally when the other two areas are surrounded by energies that join people together instead of create separation. The more a person cares for self, the more he/ she cares for the community, and the more he/ she cares for the planet. Once the mental chaos has seized in the brain, it creates empowered thinking, and the environment gets cleaned up. An example of this is when I recently took a walk on the beach, and I cleared my head. The whole walk down the beach, I was angry, and I saw nothing. On the way back, my head was cleared, and now I was able to see there were things I could do. I picked up liter on the way back and when I got to the parking lot, I threw it out. I did not judge the people who tossed it down. I did not expect someone else to pick it up. I just did it. It was my job because I was there, and I saw it. That was all. If I see a problem and I have the ability to do something to fix it, my personal responsibility is to fix it.

Some groups think that the answer is in creating fear of the earth’s demise in order to get people to do what they want. This belief points fingers and deflects responsibility. Personal responsibility is the way to protect our planet. How is the change centered will determine which way it goes. Changes will continuously happen on the planet. The only question that a person needs to ask his or her self is, “What is my part?” The answer is, “If it is in front of me, it is my part.”

As a global community, personal responsibility has to come back to each individual. The focus needs to be on what the person in the mirror can do. Katie writes, “The most attractive thing about the Buddha was that he saved one person: himself. That’s all he needed to save; when he saved himself, he saved the whole world” (190). A chain reaction starts with one person, turns into a community, and changes the world.

Works Cited

Katie, Byron. “The World Doesn’t Need to Be Saved.” Keogh 188-192.

Keogh, Martin ed. Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World.t Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2010. Print.

Pallant, Cheryl. “Embodying Change.” Keogh 183-187.

I hope you enjoyed the piece. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

Love Without Discrimination

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I live within two hours from Orlando, FL. I have friends and family in the area, just as I did in New York when 9/11 happened. During both events, I worried about people I love being there and waiting to hear they were safe. These were two events I experienced personally. That gets me thinking of all the hate crimes that take place on a daily basis all over the world. How do we get to the place where groups and individuals hate each other so much that they forget that we are dealing with other human beings who have people who love them and possibly depend on them? How do we get to the level of hate where human life has no meaning?

Love is bigger and more welcoming than any other energy on this Earth. There is no discrimination in love. If we believe in love wholeheartedly, there are no limitations to our love. EveryONE deserves it and has the right to give and receive love. None of us have the right to take that love away. Love knows NO justification, bias, or rationalization. We are either acting lovingly or we are not.

In these times when hate and fear are at a heightened level, it is important not to contribute to the energy of it. We will get more of whatever we put our energy into. If we focus on spreading love and compassion, we will open doors to more of the same energy. Be careful of categorizing people in “All” statements. All whites, blacks, Muslims, Jews, Christians, LGBT, women, or men do not exist. We are all individuals and have different backgrounds that form our belief systems, even  within a group. Do you think the same as all women, men, Americans, Catholics, Jews, or Muslims? No, you don’t, because that is impossible. If we have a conversation with 10 people from the same group, even if that group is a family, they will not all agree. How can we label “All” to groups that have so many individuals involved. I know there are extremist groups who encourage hate and fear. Keep them separate from the whole. They have chosen a clear path. If they are justifying their hate with a deeper love, we know they are living in fear, not love. Love doesn’t harm any person. Love does not hurt. Fear, greed, jealousy, and hate do. We can not pretend to know the level of love or fear in any one person’s heart without knowing them as an individual. We all have both, but we are acting out one or the other.

We don’t have to justify loving actions, but if we are taking fearful actions we do. Fearful actions are vengeful and require victims and victors. Love has no winners or losers. Don’t confuse the two. Be aware of your reasoning for doing  things. It is tricky, and we all are capable of acting in love or fear at any moment. Most of us unaware of the choice we are making. The more we practice investigating our reasoning, the more we will see.

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Please, fight the urge to hate and fear, and put your energy toward love, compassion, and healing instead. I say this to you, as I remind myself. I know how easy it is to go into hate and fear mode and I pray that this time I will not have the urge to submit to the fearful thinking.

From A Loving Place…

 

11 Ways to Better ANY Relationship

IMG_93231.  Get Rid of “Right and Wrong” Mentality

Right and wrong mentality is about power. Healthy relationships are about each person seeing the other’s perspectives, being able to agree or disagree, and doing it all without engaging in a power battle. Each person in a relationship has different belief systems. If we keep finding a solution as the goal, and get rid of figuring out who’s right and wrong, we keep our minds open to creativity. We have reasons for making the choices we do. In order to communicate with compassion and make choices from a loving place, we have to stay open to other perspectives. When we do this, we engage in wonderful relationships with all kinds of new and interesting people. Choosing to see our beliefs as just one of many perspectives, improves our life and all our relationships.

2.  Find the Good

We prepare our defenses when someone’s actions trigger a vulnerable spot in us. We tune them out as we formulate our counter-attack. Stop at that moment and consider:

  • Why are you in a relationship with this person in the first place?
  • What do you like about him/her?
  • What are some of their better qualities?

When we focus on the love, respect, or interest we have in the person, communication get easier and solutions are apparent without any emotional or physical harm to each other.

3.  Ask Questions

Too often arguments start because we make assumptions without asking enough questions. We assume we know where the other person is coming from. For the health of our relationship, we need to ask:

  • “How did that (situations, look, tone) make you feel?”
  • “Am I understanding this/you correctly?”
  • “What did you mean when you said_______?”
  • “How do you think we can make this better?”
  • “Did I say something that is causing some confusion?”

Continue to ask questions until you reach an understanding. It shows the other person that you are willing to hear them. When we value a relationship, we need to invest in peaceful resolutions. We all have our own stories. Our responsibility is to make sure we are looking at the person in front of us, and not the ones from our past.

 4.  Listen Carefully

The truth is in the details. People who are not hurting do not hurt others. If someone is calling you or someone else a name, imagine they are calling themselves that name. When people are giving others fear, hate, and/or anger, those feelings are circulating inside them. People who feel worthy don’t attack others. Try to see them with compassion and not your ego. The ego makes the situation about you. When we truly listen, we get to the heart of the problem. From there, solutions are uncovered.

5.  Give Space to Respond

Healthy relationships are about responding, not reacting when we are having trouble communicating. Sometimes we say the first thing on our mind and risk of hurting an important relationship. If we take three deep breaths, we may gain a little perspective on the situation. Other times we need to walk away before we respond in order to process the information. Either way, take the space you need to choose the best response. Keep the goals of your relationship in mind. If you are looking for a loving, compassionate, productive, and/or effective relationship, make sure your response is contributes to that.

6.  Take Your Power Back

Why are you reacting with anger, fear, and hurt? Why do you choose to give the person you are with the power to stir up these feelings inside you? Many times we are reacting to past hurts that can be traced all the way back to childhood. Our negative reactions to the current situation are opportunities to heal the past. When we take our power back and investigate where these hurt feelings came from, we can release a lot of pain that is only hurting our current relationships. Empower yourself by knowing your feelings and actions are your choice. You can change them by gaining a little perspective about why what is happening is making you feel the way it does. What other way can you look at the current situation to strengthen your own personal power?

 7.  Investigate Your Belief Systems

 We all come with the baggage of belief systems. Some are useful, but others are destructive. It is our job to investigate them and see they are helping or hurting our relationships. Are the following “truths” for you:

  • Relationships are hard work! Are they? Do they have to be? Are we making them that way?
  • Men should/Women should/Children should/Bosses should/Co-workers should… Do we shove people into categories of what we think they should and shouldn’t do or be? Is this hurting our current relationships?
  • I don’t like being told what to do! Does this create issues when dealing with colleagues, teachers, friends, intimate partners, and/or family?
  • What I say goes! This is a power play. Is this what you are looking for in your relationships?

 8.  Find Peace Within

If we don’t know what it feels like to be peaceful inside, we won’t be able to have it in our relationships. Internal chaos comes from unhealed shame and guilt from the past. By facing the darkest parts of ourselves and forgiving all that needs to be forgiven, we create peace within. Our relationships improve and people who were attracted to our chaos will fall away. When we find peace within we present with the people in our lives. We can talk to them with love and compassion, without our past getting in our way. When we get triggered, our peace within slows us down to respond appropriately.

9.  Love Yourself More 

We demonstrate how we want to be treated by the way we treat ourselves. We allow others to walk on us if we lay down in front of them. When we love ourselves, we don’t do that. We stand as equals. If we want respect, we have to show ourselves respect. If we want love, we have to give it to ourselves. This is not selfish. We can only truly give what we have inside. When we don’t care for ourselves first we take on martyr and victim roles. We will get physically and emotionally ill. How does that better ANY relationship? Learn to say, “I love you, but I love me more.” All your relationships benefit from treating yourself with the love and respect that you deserve.

10.  Stop Taking Things Personally

 What they do and say is their stuff. How we react or respond is ours. When we make it about us, that’s when we are being self-involved. We only hurt people when we are wounded. If someone raises their voice, says hurtful things, or even uses physical violence, it comes from an internal battle inside. Knowing it is not about us, we can respond in the most compassionate way possible. Does this mean we should ever accept any form of verbal, emotional, and or physical abuse? No, but you will if you don’t reconcile your own beliefs, forgive, and love yourself more.

11.  Respect Each Other’s Differences

We are all different and have wonderful contributions to give to the world. But if we think we know a better way to live someone else’s life, we are hurting everyone. We are telling the person that we don’t respect them enough to let them live their life. We miss great opportunities to express love, compassion, and acceptance. The world needs people to be different to survive. We all have strengths and diverse paths. If we want to improve our relationships, we need to focus on what we can do, how we can work together and what will make us stronger. We all learn what we are meant to learn. We will all experience lessons to make us the person we want to become. It’s great to share your experiences, strength, and hope. Just don’t expect others to do anything with them. If it feels right to their journey, they will act on those ideas. If it doesn’t, they won’t. It’s just that simple. When we respect each other we don’t have to take each other’s actions personally. We can love and accept the person for who they are, instead of who we want them to be.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff