90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 51 – The Strong Foundation of Self-Worth

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 51: The Strong Foundation of Self-Worth

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson

The strong foundation of self-worth ignites our souls to shine. It is what keeps our foundations intact from destruction. Our self-worth protects us from outside invasive species coming into our gardens. If we want to heal the world, we have to start with healing ourselves. We have to take responsibility for the dark energy we project out into the world because we are insecure with who we are and the fear of shining to our full capacity.

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On this journey of transformation I invite you to shine, not through vanity or ego, but through true awareness that it doesn’t matter what ANYONE else thinks of you that you are WORTHY of living an AMAZING life. By the end of this journey my hope is that people will be able to look in the mirror and be overwhelmed with love and acceptance of the person looking back at her/him. When we accept ourselves fully for the entirety of who we are—WE ARE FREE! We become accountable for any and all energy that we project out, therefore we can do something empowered to change, shift, and grow as we feel the need to be and do better. We are in the classroom of life and the more we are open to learn, the more advanced we get in our skills. It takes work, time, practice, and participation. When we show up for ourselves, we gain control of our stories. We learn that we can write them however we choose to.

We can’t do any of that if we aren’t projecting our worth from the inside out! Otherwise, we allow others to have control over our stories. We won’t be able to set healthy boundaries. We will be searching for something outside of us to complete us do to our lack of worth.  We won’t know what true empowerment is because it will come out as rage and darkness, not light and love. People will respond the opposite way that we demand. That is what happens when we demand that the world treat us better than we are treating ourselves.

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Gaining self-worth is a process of liberation. We are taking our lives back by celebrating the skin we are in, the lessons we’ve learned, and the gifts we have to offer through our unique experiences. Enjoy the journey back to the source of the problem and the solution. We create our realities based on the perspectives of truth (Days 43-46) we choose and our openness to learn and grow from the lessons we are given. Our challenges have the ability to strengthen our self-worth or destroy it based on the perceptions we choose. NO ONE can FORCE you to make this choice. You have to commit to seeing your own worth if you want things inside and around you to change.

The strong foundation of self-worth not only will change our lives; we become walking examples of a healthier and more loving way to live. Our energy becomes contagious and we are able to give to the world from authentically loving place.

Don’t be surprised if you are building your self-worth up and someone comes along trying to tear it down. It’s part of the process of learning where you are on your journey. It is an answered prayer and a lesson. If you are new to the 90-Day A Better Me Series, I invite you to go back to the beginning and help strengthen your awareness so that you can spot the lessons as they come.

Just for Today

Commit to seeing your worth. Write a contract to yourself if you need to. Pray that you will find ways to strengthen your worth.

For all those embarking on this journey of establishing the strong foundation of self-worth, you will be challenged, but the rewards are GREAT! There is a lot of clean up of old beliefs along the way. As each old belief falls away, you become lighter. The outside chaos lessons and a peace stirs from within. Our reactions to outside triggers have less and less impact on our internal world. Welcome to the journey!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 51 – Committing to See My Worth

Thank you reading! I want to send a special thanks to those of you who are reading, following, liking, and commenting along the way. I love hearing from you.

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 44 – Seeing Other’s Perspectives of Truth in the World

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

 

Day 44: Seeing Other’s Perspectives of Truth in the World

“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”

-John Steinbeck

I used to get bent out of shape when I felt like I HAD to be right and that my way was the right and/or only way to feel, think, believe and/or do something. If I HAVE to be right, I’m missing out on other perspectives of truth. I didn’t understand that it wasn’t weak to listen to someone else’s side of things. Just because I’m open to hear and understand others doesn’t mean I have to take on their perspective of truth as my own. Being open to see other’s perspectives of truth helps me not only understand mine, but understand theirs. When I’m open, I’m not attacking someone else for thinking differently than I do. I open myself up to see the individual beyond where her/his and my beliefs are holding us. I can see choices in thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, and reactions.

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If we focus our energy in seeing other’s perspectives of truth in the world, we aren’t going to act defensively out of fear. We come to the interaction with more open energy. We go into conversations with an openness to see love and fear. If we are willing to look into what a person’s perspectives of truth are being led by, it can help us communicate with our loving light intact, so that it doesn’t get swayed by the other person’s energy. If we keep our light shining even in the face of someone else’s darkness, we can open up conversations of understanding. We can listen to their fears and see if there is a way to lessen them.

If a person is attacking us because her/his perspectives of truth are led by fear and we react to their fear with our fear, we have a war. Both parties stop listening and insist on being right. The raging inner teenagers take over, and the fight to be right pursues.

What if instead of being defensive we thought: This person is sharing their perspective of truth that they have created. I can see that they are angry and that they are not interpreting the situation the same way I am. I need to find out more about where this perspective is coming from in hopes we can find a solution that will work for both of us.

How do you feel after reading that thought process? If you think of exchanges you’ve had with a friend, colleague, partner, or family member when you didn’t agree with each other, do you think this thought process would help you from staying out of your own darkness (fear)? Do you think it would help you to remain open to hear their side of the story without taking it personally, even if she/he is pointing the finger at you? This process definitely works for me! That doesn’t mean I always remember to use it when my fears are triggered. I do however go back after my fears have calmed down. I apologize for my actions if I reacted out of fear or anger, and then I calmly discuss the situation. I can be clear on how I feel without pointing fingers and blaming her/him. I take responsibility for any dark energy I brought into the exchange. It is their choice if they want to take responsibility for theirs. I have no control over what someone else does.

Once we can begin to do this, we can extend the exercise out to our views of others. I find social media a great place to exercise seeing other’s perspectives of truths. I can get an idea if their perspectives are coming from fear or love based on what they post. I can see where their perspectives are conflicted in how they want to be living and how they are choosing to live. Seeing people a little clearer helps me to communicate with them in the most loving way possible. It helps me to guide my questions and to see if their perspectives of truth trigger my darkness (fear). I don’t have to engage in any situation that I know is being fueled by fear.

If people are so engaged in their fear that they are spreading hate on social media, I choose to send them light in a prayer. If someone engages me directly, I respond to them in the most loving way possible so that I’m not engaging my own darkness. I find when I approach people with love, they are more open to put their defenses down and start a conversation with me to gain understanding. Most times I find that their perspective of truth had them reacting to something I posted because they weren’t seeing the message the same way I was when I posted it. Most times I can understand their perspective and see how viewing it the way they did caused them to be triggered. I simply explain how I viewed it and most times a person can feel that I’m coming from a loving place, so they stay open to hear my view too. Now, we both gain understanding that not all people will view even what some may see as positive messages the same way.

I’m so grateful to have reached the place where I can have these kinds of exchanges. I have to laugh thinking back to my reaction when I heard the sentiment, “You complete me.” Now, when I was a hopeless romantic with no self-worth, I longed to hear someone say this to me. I wanted to be that one person that “made” someone feel like they would die without me there loving them. Back then my perspective of truth was you need someone else to love you romantically to be complete (FEAR).

Then after I started studying codependency and realizing how sick I had become by engaging in this belief system, I went the polar opposite and would be enraged when I heard the sentiment or read it in cards. I would flip out trying to find a card for someone and all I could see was codependent statements everywhere. I would have to spew my anger to anyone who would listen (FEAR).

After some time and growth, I realized that enraged perspective of truth wasn’t serving me either. I didn’t want to be angry at the world who didn’t see things my way. I came to the understanding that my perspective of truth about being responsible for my own feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions was the key. I had a choice on the energy I put out towards myself and others. When people disagree with me, when I’m centered, I respond with loving respect and let them know that my perspectives work for me to live the life I want to be living. If her/his perspectives work for them and they are happy, I’m not going to put my dark energy into the situation. I open myself to understand how their perspectives of truth are working for them. If there circumstances change and they realize that their perspectives of truth no longer serve them, they are free to change them. That is their journey.

It is not my job to force people to see things the way I do. I want to give people the opportunity to see their best selves, how that looks to each individual is going to be different. It is healthy for us to be open to see other people’s perspectives without judging ourselves against them. We are more open to see humanity and its diversity as something to celebrate instead of condemn. I love learning about people, which is why I majored in Human Development and minored in Cultural Anthropology. That is part of my journey and why I’ve chosen the path I’m on now.

“Sometimes the only reason for us to be somewhere else is to see things from a different perspective.”

-Leila Summers

The quote above fits the perspective of truth that everything happens for a reason. I believe we are brought into situations to learn from them. Sometimes an event will show us how much we like and appreciate how we are living our lives. Sometimes another person’s experience will show us that our priorities are out of whack. Other times we are shown how our perspectives are hurting us. When we trust our journey, we can appreciate the opportunity to see other’s perspectives of truth in the world.

Some may wonder why sometimes I choose to pick very personal topics when it comes to seeing perspectives, like how we see our own social media circles, instead of focusing on the bigger issues in the world. I talked about the definition of insanity earlier on in the series as the way we do things the same way over and over expecting different results. I’ve seen people take the quest to try to change the world so many times and get worn down, depleted, and defeated time and time again. I’ve watched people give themselves away (Day 28) and feel like nothing when they see very little shifts. The one pattern I notice the most is people trying to fix what’s outside to avoid what is going on inside of them. They try to fix things in the world out of fear. Since the beginning of the history of storytelling there stories about how loving actions led us to salvation, yet people keep choosing the path of fear and expecting love at the end. One of my deepest perspectives of truth is we have to see the light in ourselves before we can see and appreciate the light in others. We have to understand and embrace our own darkness before we can understand and appreciate the need for someone else’s. I believe our power to change the world starts within us. We have to see ourselves clearly to trust our path. When we give from a loving place, we are apart of spreading light into the world. Each of our paths will look very different, but no path is less important than another.

Sometimes we are faced with extreme forces of darkness (FEAR), leaders who spread darkness, individuals who choose to follow darkness, catastrophic events that put people face to face in their darkness, and illnesses that take us deep into our darkness. Each of these is important to our transformational journey. When faced with other’s darkness where do we go with ours? When faced with our own darkness how do we treat ourselves and others? What happens in the world when events touch us on a global level? After any major traumatic event you can find an outpouring of compassion and empathy. You can see story after story of heroes doing things that inspire the best in humanity. You can also see individuals pushing us to feed our fears. Where is your energy? That is the only energy that matters when these things are happening because it is the only energy you can control. Are you going to contribute light or more darkness? That starts on a personal level, which is why I wrote this series the way I have. We have to start with awareness of ourselves. Then we move into acceptance widening our perspectives. The final part is about taking action from a loving place for ourselves and others. Too many times we want to avoid our own darkness and instead work on fixing other’s problems, but the truth is until we understand our darkness by shining light on it, we will keep spreading darkness in the world.

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Once we have come to a place where we see other’s perspectives of truth in the world as a natural process of gaining understanding—We find peace. We become apart of the change we WANT to see in the world.

Just for Today

Think of ways you can reframe your thinking when you don’t understand other’s perspectives of truth. What could you ask them? How could you respond to their perspectives from a loving place? What can you say to someone who doesn’t agree with your views without attacking theirs?

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Today’s Letter from A Better Me: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 44 – I’m Grateful for Other’s Perspectives of Truth

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 34 – Choosing to Live Life From A Loving Place

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 34: Choosing to Live Life From A Loving Place

Dear Self,

Today, I’m choosing to live life from a loving place. My choices need to reflect the love I’m spreading. I will only engage in loving exchanges of energy today. I will send love to people who are stuck in their darkness. I will find stories of inspiration, strength, and hope to spread on social media. I will be conscious and aware of when my fear is triggered by others actions and choose loving thoughts instead. If I can’t find loving messages to spread, I will refrain from adding my opinion until I find a loving way to interpret the situation.

Today, I’m choosing to trust where I’m being led, because I know that I will get what I need to help me live my life from a more loving place. I will pray to be led to people, places, and things that will inspire me to love more. That way, even if I’m faced with hate, fear, and/or crisis, I will see opportunities to love more. I am open to seeing the miracles of love.

I’m choosing to say YES to life by exploring more and getting out of my comfort zone. I will make the time to plan little trips whether they are local trips that last up to a few hours or bigger trips that give me time to fully engage in the experience. I will trust that the right adventures will show up in my life. I will remain open to seeing the signs when I’m being led to go do something. I will make choices to inspire me to have more adventures. I will invest some time in doing the things I love, because I know that will manifest more time and space to enjoy the adventures in life.

I’m choosing to interact with strangers. I see the importance of spreading love, so I will commit to being present in my exchanges with strangers. If they or I feel drawn to have a conversation, I will give them my time. If I am guided to laugh with them, I will. I will do my best to notice something special about the person serving me and share it. I know that there are people walking around feeling unnoticed and I will be open to seeing those who need just a little extra TLC. If I’m spreading love my energy will be felt. I know that it may affect how the person I’m interacting with treats the next person they interact with, so I want to make my exchange count. I can’t make others react to me in any certain way; I can just be responsible for the energy I’m sharing with them.

I’m choosing to take care of myself. I’m putting the oxygen mask on me first. I can’t be accountable for the energy I’m putting out if I’m walking around unconscious of it. I have to make sure that I take care of me so that the energy I’m spreading is authentically love. I know I can only spread what I already have inside. If I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not loving myself. That lack of love will be reflected back to me in the people, places, and things I come in contact with. I want to make sure what I’m putting out there is authentic and loving so that I know for sure when I’m getting a life lesson, I get the most out of it. I want to know the people who are in my life are because of the love I’m spreading, not to feed my darkness and insecurities. I know when I don’t take care of myself, I can choose to learn the hard way on why it’s important to take care of me, and I’m choosing to take a more peaceful path in my learning process.

Thank you for your awareness and perspective to make it possible to live life from a loving place today.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 34 – The Choices We Make Living Life from A Loving Place

If you like what you read, don’t forget to follow along daily.

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 34 – The Choices We Make Living Life from A Loving Place

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 34: The Choices We Make Living from A Loving Place

“Where there is love there is life.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

We know the choices we make living life out of fear from DAY 5 (click here for link). Now, I get to cover my favorite topic, the choices we make living life from a loving place. My body tingles, and a smile crosses my face as my fingers type the words. Just knowing that I’m sharing my words from a loving place fills me with an intense joy. Giving you the 90-Day A Better Me Series and the 90-Day A Better Me letters Series is one of the choices I make personally to live life from a loving place. Having a Facebook Page to share messages of love, hope, perseverance, strength, presence, and courage is another choice I make.

We Spread Love!

We show up with love even in the face of hate and fear. Think of Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Siddhartha, Elie Wiesel, Viktor Frankl, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Oprah, Ellen, etc., they all spread love. When we are open to seeing love we can see it in our communities, in our churches, and in the world. It doesn’t mean all these people are going to do this perfectly. We are human! Most of us will engage in our darkness from time to time, but it’s what we choose the majority of the time that has the most affect on our lives and the lives of others.  When we allow love to lead us, we see the magic in the heroes who show up for strangers, the stories of loving ourselves and others no matter the circumstances, and we feel inspired by all forms of love being spread. We don’t feel envy for what we don’t have ourselves. We feel joy, compassion, inspiration, and hope. We spread that! #SpreadLove

I started the From A Loving Place blog and the Facebook page in 2016 because I was seeing so much fear and hate being spread across social media. I saw blaming and shaming to the highest degree. I saw people talking to others on comments treating them like their lives didn’t matter. I wanted to show people that even in the midst of our pain, we don’t have to live like that. We have another choice. We can live life from a loving place. I know the suffering that comes from living in fear. My thought was that the people who were meant to find me would. I trust how the Universe works that way. I know I’ve been led to people, books, groups, websites, Ted Talks, You Tube videos, etc. I get exactly what I need when I ask for a path out of my darkness (fear).

“A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.”

-Marianne Williamson

We Trust!

When we choose to live life from a loving place we trust signs, gut feelings, our Higher Power (God, Allah, Krishna, Buddha, etc.), and our senses. We may get lost and be led to a stranger who was so lonely that our presence and attention to her or him helped to get her/him through the day, maybe even week. We don’t get scared of our interaction because we know that there are no mistakes and we were led there for a reason. We feel within ourselves that it doesn’t matter if we’re late, and we patiently listen to the person talk and tell stories. We feel the miracle of the moment that we were led to serve someone with love. The same detour could led us to rescue someone in accident or make us avoid an accident.

We also trust that there are lessons in our struggles. We don’t take them as an attack on us, we trust we are going through what we are for a reason. We don’t have to understand it, but when we are open to the lessons and trust the process, we may have an opportunity to see the bigger picture.

We Take Adventures!

When we live life from a loving place, we can manifest wonderful adventures. We choose to say YES to life. When we play into the love instead of fear, everything starts lining up. The timing works out, people appear, places become accessible and/or available, and the money shows up. When we release our fear, we create space to live in ways that expand our love for life. We appreciate the adventures and pay attention to the journey. We notice nature more, the kindness of strangers, and the signs that we are getting exactly what we need in the moment.

We Interact with Strangers!

If we are in a grocery store, bank, gym, etc.,  we take the time to look people in the eye and smile. We make sure to give the people working at checkout our time and attention. We let them know by our attention that their life matters. They are NOT a computer. Their job is important; it is not loving to be on our phones. We marginalize individuals when we lessen the importance of their presence in our lives, even if it is a brief exchange.

We Take Care of Ourselves!

Oh YES! We don’t operate against our personal well-being and ourselves. We know that the healthier we are, the more effective we are to others. This means that we take time to show ourselves love, compassion, joy, empathy, and care. Selfishness is us abusing ourselves, because when we abuse ourselves we abuse others. When we take care of ourselves we stop taking what others do personally. We show up out of love not insecurities. We know how others treat us is a reflection on them, not on us. We feel the empowerment of knowing that our feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions are a reflection of what we have inside us and we will do what we need to do to make sure we are projecting what we really want to project onto the world (Check out Day 11: Projecting Shame and Day 24: Manifesting Hate). We are only responsible for the energy that we put out in the world. Taking care of ourselves to make sure we put out the best version of ourselves is the absolute best thing we can do for everyone’s life we touch.

Just For Today

Make a list of choices you are making to live life from a loving place. If you can’t think of any right now, make a list of things you would like to do to live your life from a more loving place.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Today’s Letter from A Better Me: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 34 – Choosing to Live Life From A Loving Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 15 – Buying and Selling Blame in the Media

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 15: Buying and Selling Blame in the Media

“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

-J. Michael Straczynski

Blame is one of those things society supports us doing. Mass and social media thrive on the blame, shame, fear, judgment, and hate in the world. Here’s the tricky part—If we are engaging in it, we are supporting it. Watch the news and see how you react to the stories they are telling. If the media says we should shame a person, do we? If we are told to blame this politician, government, or school system, do we? If we are told to hate a hate group, do we? If we are, we are contributing to the very energy that got us to where we are in the first place. How has this tactic worked for us so far?

We can’t get sucked into blaming the media for doing this. If we are blaming, we are contributing to the vicious cycle. I know, it’s not easy! Believe me, I KNOW! Here’s our responsibility in the matter. We’ve trained the media and entertainment to be this way. They wouldn’t survive if this way of delivering news, campaigning, and entertaining didn’t work. I watched candidates in elections try to run a clean campaign and because they didn’t bash the other opponents, while the opponents were bashing them, the majority didn’t follow them. It doesn’t even matter that most of the mudslinging is us being manipulated—We fall for it. We don’t want to spend the time searching for the truth, so we like to believe what people tell us. If we buy into this method, they are going to keep selling it to us. Otherwise, they wouldn’t succeed at their business.

So, they may feel like they are stuck just as much as we might feel we are. Some media blames the people watching because they are driving the sales and the people watching sometimes will choose to blame the media for not being better. Both sides are caught up in the blame, so we feed that energy and we attract worse and worse. We have people who are extremely sick looking for their 15 minutes of fame, and they don’t care how they get it. We are focused on the worst in society so we perpetuate the cycle of fear and create more of it. If the majority of a nation focuses on blaming, shaming, and fear, we can manifest leaders who project our vision out to the world. Scary, right?

I took a course on media and society in college. One of the most eye opening segments was about how our views are skewed by the media using racism and sexism even in crisis situations. For a compassionate and empathetic person like me, it put me in tears and just thinking about it makes me tear up right now. They showed us pictures and news stories after Hurricane Katrina had devastated areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. One news story had a black man carrying supplies over his head through waste deep waters and the news sources sold it as looting. Tell me that doesn’t stir up some blame cycles on both sides of the situation. Then a white woman doing the same thing is sold as surviving. Once again, the media plays to what sells. At the time I saw this, I’m not going to lie, my blame cycle went into full swing. It broke my heart how the value of people’s lives can be judged against each other. I really had to recognize what that energy was doing to me. For a while after taking that course, I couldn’t watch the news AT ALL. Now, I only watch in very small doses and I do my best to research any part of the news that doesn’t feel right. If a news story is focused on the sick individuals causing the pain, I research the people who are showing love and support to the communities involved. I follow the stream of good Samaritans who step up to fulfill what they feel is their calling to serve. I focus on what people are doing to support the victims of violent acts and natural disasters. This helps me to stay out of the energy of blame and focus on love

When I hear stories of natural disasters, terrorists, mass shootings, and overall violence, I have to REALLY be AWARE of where my mind is going. If I go into the fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate, I feel helpless. I feel victimized by what I’m seeing. I feel scared to adventure because the fear of others. I’m scared to use my voice in fear of what might come back at me. All I know is that I’m not at peace when I choose to live my life there. I have to make a conscious CHOICE to take my mind somewhere that lifts me above all the darkness. That is why I ALWAYS go to seeking out the loving and compassionate acts of others. I still cry my eyes out, but the energy of those tears feed my soul. They inspire me to be and do better. They remind me of my humanity. So, I will support the stories that encourage the best in humanity. I will give them views, likes, shares, and comments on social media, because that is the energy I want to feed.

I’m not saying anyone who wants to watch the news should stop. All I’m saying is make sure you know where your mind goes while you’re watching it. If you want a better life for yourself and others stay away from the finger pointing and start to investigate your thoughts. If you think something shouldn’t be the way it is, what can you do about it? What is your part in not feeding that energy? Doing that is what led me to writing a blog. I needed to focus my energy on what I wanted in my life and that was to come From A Loving Place. I know I’m accountable for the energy I put out into the world. From A Loving Place is a reminder for me to live life from a loving energy and spread it the best way I know how, which for me is through my words.

Side note

I will talk about that A LOT more in Part III of the series, because it’s not about following someone else’s path but figuring out your own. Part III will give you tools to do that.

We do have choices in what we buy into. There are magazines and shows that support us invading people’s lives that keep the blaming and shaming cycles in overdrive, we can choose not to buy them or buy into them. There are magazines and shows that support the best in us, we can choose to buy them and into them. Just remember that we will continue to get more of whatever we focus on. You get to decide where your head goes. No one has control over where you put your attention. Where we go on the inside will create our reality. If we focus on the evils and fears in humanity, we find ourselves surrounded by them over and over with no focus on anything good. If we want to focus on the loving actions of others, we will see them over and over!

Just for Today

Watch media sources with full of awareness of where your mind goes. Where is your focus?

Remember Part I is all about AWARENESS. This is heavy stuff and my promise to you is that if you stick with the 90-Day A Better Me Series, by the end, you will feel shifts you never saw coming and they are nothing compared to what happens if you do the work in the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP. The transformative power that comes from shifting our perspectives is life changing.

Thank you for joining me today.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff © 2019

A Better Me

 

Don’t forget to check out the companion letter from the 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series (click here to go there now)

Follow the 90-Day A Better Me Series by scrolling down and entering your e-mail below. Start from the beginning and enjoy the journey FROM A LOVING PLACE!

If you are ready to commit to the transforming your perspective to live the life you want:

Check out the 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream of Writing a Book

For as long as I could remember, I’ve dreamt of writing a book. When I was in high school I wrote tons of poetry from a very depressing time in my life. One year, I put it all together and turned it into a poetry book for special family members. When my father died in 2011, I found the book amongst my dad’s closet of books. I also found something I wrote in 1998 (Click here to see what I wrote). A spark ignited.

#TheSpark

I don’t know what it was about finding those things, but something inside me knew that seeing those writings had a much deeper meaning. In August 2011, I enrolled in college. My passion for writing began flooding back. I loved every chance I got to write, and in the school I attended, I wrote A LOT. By the time I got my degree, I couldn’t stop. That’s when I started this blog. With each piece I wrote I could feel a calling inside me to write a whole book.

A friend of mine, who has been a published author in the fiction world for well over a decade, was helping me edit a piece I was writing for another website. She discovered I was someone who loved constructive criticism. Growing up a drama kid, I was used to it. I knew that constructive criticism makes whatever I’m doing better. Even if it just means me taking the information and realizing how strong I am in my conviction to make a point. Other times, as I got used to it my college courses, constructive criticism showed me where I was missing a step or my words weren’t making a clear statement. I’m so grateful my head was in that place when she edited my piece. It made for a positive working experience for us both.

#ConstructiveCriticism

In the midst of all of that, she was having a meeting with her agent who was telling her what a good agent she would be. She wasn’t interested in being an agent in the genre she wrote, yet the thought of being a literary agent for self-help, personal transformation, and inspired living gave her chills. She thought of me and how positive our experience was while working on my little project. After some thought, she jumped in. Now, this is a woman who knows how to research. I remember walking into her office while she was writing a book and seeing all these elaborate charts. Through our conversations, I remember being in absolute awe of the way she would research things for her book and in her personal life. I knew she would make an amazing agent.

#Tingles

We talked about the process of writing a book and a proposal for the book. Wow! I really didn’t know how much there was to the process. I’m not in a place, even today, where I have a giant following. In non-fiction, subscribers, followers, and engagement are all factors. I also didn’t have extra money to be spending on developing my on-line presence, yet I knew I was meant to be writing. So, I wrote.

My first attempt didn’t go over well, only a couple of passes due to my writing or content, the rest SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM! Ugh, ok so I worked a little on platform and a new idea that a publisher could feel passionate enough about that my lack of platform might not matter as much. Ok, here we go: Attempt two. I started writing a book about the transformation from the victim of an emotionally abusive situation to developing personal value and self-worth to be the heroine of your own story. This book was flowing out of me. Then, all the sudden, the flow stopped. As I wrote, I realized this was one of those books where platform, would really matter. I started praying. Fortunately for me, I was about to go on a spiritual outing to Sedona, AZ with my agent/soul sister.

#Sedona

Side note: Here’s a piece I wrote after that trip.

Sedona is a place I go to get clarity. For a brief time, I lived and worked in the Phoenix area writing and developing sales materials and training programs. The work environment I was in wasn’t the right fit. So, I went to Sedona to open myself up to see the next move—One miracle after another led me on a grand adventure. Going back to Sedona was just what I needed. Sparks and tingles permeated my body as my agent and I started to talk about a book I could write on empowering women. Now, we’ve discussed this before, but for some reason in Sedona the book started taking shape in my mind. I could do this! So over 100 pages into the book I was writing, I changed directions.

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The words were flowing and I saw a clear path for the messages to come through. Ok, two chapters and a proposal complete. I turned it over to my agent. Not the response I expected, but constructive criticism galore. Something was missing, time to re-format. Once I re-formatted the sample chapters, I re-submitted to my agent—tingles. That was the response I wanted. The proposal goes out to publishers. I kept writing. As the feedback started to come back, I realized there weren’t enough sample chapters to see the complete vision of the book, so I wrote and I wrote adding more chapters to the proposal. Then, before I knew it, the book was complete. I wrote a 241-page book.

My dream realized. As I read through the book I kept getting chills and feeling inspired. I really don’t know what is going to come of writing the book. The journey itself has been magical and fulfilling. I felt guided throughout the whole process and I just kept following my heart. I know that if a publisher picks up the book, they will feel the power of the book standing alone…the tingle. I don’t have the social media platform many are looking for. I don’t have the credentials after my name. What I do have is the heart, passion, and knowing that the tools I use work. I know this because they were the same tools and knowledge that transformed my life. I know whoever is meant to read the book will get access to read it when the time is right. For now, I have my blogs, which I will lovingly get back to writing.

#DreamRealized

I had to take some time off as I completed the book so that I made sure my full focus went into completing the work in my heart. Now, I can give the blogs the full attention they deserve. I hope you will follow along with me as I continue to find A Better Me From a Loving Place (click links to explore more and check out the entire From A Loving Place blog).

#AmazingJourney

With Love and Extreme Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Sending a giant thank you out to my rock star agent and soul sister, Tina Wainscott (Tina Wainscott-Seymour Agency)! Thank you for continuing to go on this amazing ride with me. Our journey has been full of magic, transformation, and miracles. I enjoy every turn on this road with you.

Finding Love in the Confusion of Meaning

A friend recently reminded me of a time when I didn’t know what love was. In that place I entered unhealthy relationship after unhealthy relationship. I was used, walked on, and crushed time and time again. I didn’t understand why love had to be so hard. In my confusion about love, I thought love is what hurt me. I thought that loving too much was my weakness. I believed it when people would say I was SO loving that I would be hurt more. I believed it when people said I was too trusting. I didn’t realize the reality I was creating around my beliefs.

I’ve written about this on multiple levels on my blog (please search the blog if you are struggling with love). In Discovering the Meaning of Love I talked about that first step in my journey to finding REAL love. If we want to experience love for what love is, we first have to be clear on our definition of love. If we don’t want to believe that love hurts, we have to live within a definition of love that doesn’t hurt. For me, I found that in Corinthians. This definition changed the trajectory of my journey to love.

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In order to live by this definition, I have to have it close by. This definition of love doesn’t have hurt. When I’m feeling hurt, I am directed to figure out what is really hurting me, 100% of the time it is some version of fear. Fear is where jealously, envy, rage, anger, disgust, bitterness, distrust, rudeness, and righteousness stand. This isn’t just true for when I’m looking at it in another person. This is true when I’m looking within myself. If I’m treating myself horrible, that’s not love; it’s fear.

When I view myself through eyes of fear, I’m teaching the people I encounter to do the same. I’m going to project out whatever I feel inside. When I hated myself, I attracted people who treated me horribly. I thought they were the reason I hated love. Really, the reason I hated love is because of me.

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My friend reminded me about the confusion that came from not knowing the meaning of love. She reminded me of the pain and hurt that relationships brought when I was confused. After discovering the meaning of love, I could soon see that what I was feeling had nothing do do with love. It had everything to do with the unhealed shame I had inside. That unhealed shame led to codependency on others to gain my worth. That made it easy for me to be a doormat. I would say yes to gain worth and if they didn’t appreciate me or give back to me the way I would give to them, I would feel hurt.

When I give from a loving place, I don’t need to feel appreciated or expect others to meet my standards of giving. I won’t give more than I genuinely feel it’s right for me to give. I won’t do for a partner what he is capable of doing for himself. If I’m looking for recognition, I have to look at my intentions behind what I’m doing. I’m not perfect at this, believe me, I’m not. What I’ve gotten very good at is not confusing fear with love. I can question my thinking and realize that I need to re-align with love.

 

With a strong core focused on love, I attract people to my life who I feel open to love. Strangers are kinder, neighbors talk to me, friends are genuine, and my partner is a great partner. I don’t fear people or places because I trust my instincts. People who want to use people stay away from me. I feel comfortable with staying away from people who don’t like me, I no longer try to make them like me because I feel insecure. When old beliefs start coming back in, I go back to my definition and use all the tools I’ve gained along the way to get me back to love.

#Love

Sending love and prayers to anyone suffering from the confusion between love and fear. I hope you find what you need to define love in a way that sets you free.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Hurricane Irma: A Single Mom’s Unplanned Road Trip

Growing up in Southwest Florida, I’ve experienced quite a few hurricanes. I lived in Naples during Andrew, the one that did so much damage and the reports keep comparing Irma to, saying this one is much worse. In my early twenties, I lived in Oak Island, North Carolina. I stuck around for a hurricane coming right over us, my poor family had to watch and wait in panic. As a mom, I decided category three or higher; we leave.

When Hurricane Irma turned into a Category 5, I watched her very carefully. The long term projection showed where I live now on the West Coast of Florida might see the ugliest side of her; the north east corner. My exit strategy started forming, but I gave her a little time. As she came closer, the projected path started to turn east. This is when my mind started really spinning. I couldn’t stop thinking about Hurricane Charley. The models showed a landfall more north, then it took a sudden turn and many people were unprepared for a direct hit. Hurricane Andrew hit Homestead, but Naples had plenty of damage. Another hurricane came through as direct hit on the SW side then passed through and did a lot more damage in Ft. Lauderdale then where we were. Do I stay or do I go? I left when Katrina passed over our waters and watched intently because my ex-boyfriend and his family lived on the coast of Mississippi. I remember desperately searching the Internet to find out they were all safe. His dad and stepmom were those people who were always prepared. They had a hurricane room that looked like a convenience store. In the end, it didn’t matter. Katrina stripped her to the foundation. They didn’t live that close to the water. It was at least a five to ten minute drive from what I remember. Should I stay or should I go? I knew I needed to get calm and make a decision. Florida is not like many other states. If you live anywhere in the southern half, you need to make a decision fairly early. It takes me five hours or more to get to the border of Florida. When I was in Naples it took around six and half on a good day. Now add evacuation traffic; NIGHTMARE!

On Tuesday, I really was confused whether to stay or go, but staying was causing me so much anxiety. Not because of the storm itself as much as the aftermath. Flooding, food, and transportation were stuck in my brain. Now, I’m very fortunate to have a friend who lives close to Atlanta, Georgia that the kids and I stay at every summer. I knew I had a place to go outside of Florida. Some people would say, “It’s probably going to hit there too.” Yes, it is, but from where I am. I can go in any direction to escape Irma’s path. I don’t have that option in Florida. In Florida, she will come in as a category 4 or 5, but in this area, at most a category 1. That’s a BIG difference! I spent Tuesday and Wednesday studying traffic on an app for my phone. I watched accident after accident pop up on my screen. I checked on traffic through out the night on Tuesday to see if I leave in the middle of the night, could I avoid a lot of the evacuation traffic. Luckily, the answer was yes. Gas was out all over the state, so the fear of not being able to get any came into my head. I needed to get my head on straight. Stop getting into the fear and make the best decision for my family.

I struggle with decision-making when there is a lot of chaos going on. I spoke with a friend, the more we talked, I realized my gut wasn’t telling me to stay, despite many people telling me I would be fine where I was. I needed to get quiet and pray. I sat in my closet (safe from interruption), got still, and asked a direct question, “Should I leave?” I got my answer, a very loud and solid YES! A calm came over me and I knew I made the right decision. I figured there were three options:

  1. Irma would come into the Gulf of Mexico and hit us with her worse side.
  2. She would go up the middle and get all of Florida.
  3. She would go out to the Atlantic and hit somewhere further up the coast.

Being, I really didn’t like options one or two, I asked myself would I regret leaving, the answer a resounding NO. I put my thoughts in a less stressful place because I needed a clear head while I was driving. I decided I was going to go on a road trip to see friends. Wednesday, I packed the kids, our cat, and myself up and I was good to go. I went to sleep early and set my alarm for 1AM. We were on the road by 1:30AM.

The first few hours were easy. I even could set my cruise control. I saw traffic coming up so I pulled off at a full rest area. I slipped into one of the few spots. I’m so glad I did because all the rest areas after that were packed well beyond capacity with cars and trucks lining the highway. Many travellers were taking sleep breaks because they had been traveling so long. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about all the people leaving their family, friends, and homes. As a category 5 hurricane our lives as we know it may change very quickly.

Going through Georgia took the longest because it was daytime and the majority of travellers were on the road. So many unnecessary accidents along the way because people wouldn’t give each other space to slow down. I stayed next to the shoulder and had to use it to avoid an accident two cars ahead of me.

I have lived in Florida for a good chunk of my life. I lived in Naples multiple times starting when I was in fifth grade. My children were born there. I worked there. Most of all, many of my closest lifetime friends are there along with my boyfriend and his family. I knew many of them were staying and most of them were hoping the track was going to keep shifting east.

Now, as of 5:00AM Saturday morning this massive storm is going to hit at the least as a category 4 and a possible 5. Now, my home that I share with my mom and stepdad is also going to get a major hit as a 3 or 4, along with St. Petersburg area where I went to Eckerd College and met so many amazing people. This means a huge portion of my children’s and my family and friends are now going to be on the worst side of this massive storm. As grateful as I am that I got the gut instinct to leave, and that I could keep my calm on the road because I had a familiar place to go with my kids, my nerves are still on high alert.

I am doing my best to stay present, but I’m not going to lie, my head is in so many places and with so many of the people I love. I don’t know when the next time I will be able see any of them is. I don’t know how the roads will be or how long it will be before I can get home to my family and get my kids back to their normal routines. If it will even be an option.

We didn’t take much with us besides clothes, important paperwork, our electronic devices, and a handful of sentimental items. When I was looking around at what to pack, I thought this is all just stuff. If it all goes, it won’t matter. What will matter is what happens to all the people I love.

I’m happy I don’t have to make that last minute decision wondering if it’s too late to leave and will there be enough gas to get out, but my heart, mind, and soul are there with the people I love. I will be praying and hoping that I hear from them all once the storm passes. Be safe my friends. I love you.

I have been blessed with SO MANY AMAZING people in my life. I know I’m not alone. There are no right ways to feel right now. We all experience watching an event like this from our own personal angle. Our strengths and weaknesses may be exposed, but through these traumatic experiences we grow as a global community. I am not alone. My friends and family are not alone. I just watched so many people come together to help with Hurricane Harvey. I’m watching the best of humanity come out to help with the earthquake that just happened in Mexico and the fires in Oregon, Montana, and California. Even if the media hasn’t covered some of them, good people still will show up in whatever way they can; even if it is prayer. Every piece of positive energy matters and that is what needs to be focused on. Please stay compassionate and non-judgmental towards the people in it. They are all doing the best they can with what they have. It is much easier looking at a situation from outside the box. I’m guilty of doing it and I’m reminding myself as much as I’m telling you. We don’t know what the best answer is for anyone else’s situation, and we don’t have all the cards. So please, keep the energy positive and loving.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

P.S. If you are new to the blog, pictures on this blog are from my personal adventures and taken by me. This featured Image is in Venice, FL. I really hope the pier is still there when I get home.

I apologize to any grammar police. This piece is very raw. I couldn’t focus on proper grammar. 

Raising Children in A World of Addiction

 

Facing addiction from the outside is hard enough, but when children are involved it is a whole different ball game. In the past few years there has been a significant increase in grandparents taking the role of caretakers due to kids getting taken away from addicted parent(s) or one parent having to take on all the responsibilities as the other parent falls deep into the darkness of addiction. Families are breaking apart and struggling through the pain of watching their beloved family members completely disappear. I’ve experienced what it is like to lose people to this cunning and baffling disease, which is so incredibly powerful.

As outsiders looking in, we can say and think things like, “Just stop doing it!” It seems obvious, right? We can say, “Just limit yourself to two drinks.” We can go on and on with logical reasons for them to stop doing these harmful behaviors. When the person has kids, “Do it for your kids” and “Do it for your family.” We all wish those were the magic words to get them back on track. Sometimes, we go as far as trying to get the children to step-up and help straighten their parent(s) out. Imagine that weight on a child’s shoulders. What if their parent doesn’t clean up, is it now their fault? The problem is, a lot of kids take the responsibility very seriously and yes they blame themselves for their parent(s) addictions.

I used to use relationships as my addiction. People would ask the same kinds of questions. Most of us have something we use that is not so healthy. We can look at ourselves in order to help us feel compassion for others who are in a situation that they are not ready to change. I wasn’t able to break my toxic patterns in relationships until I was ready. Nothing anybody did, no matter how much sense it made could make me change. When I was ready, I stopped making excuses and changed. It wasn’t easy and I still slip into old harmful thought patterns. That connection really helps me to see addiction from a loving place. If it is that hard for me to change without using a chemical addictive substance, how hard is it for people who have been using prescription pills, alcohol, heroine, etc.? Those all have chemicals that change the way the brain functions.

My heart goes out to all families in this situation. I will tell you, it is full of lessons and we will rise up and we will make mistakes, because we all want what is best for our families. Admitting the truth about addiction is a very hard pill to swallow. Here are just a few things I have learned along the way:

Leave Children Out of Rescue Missions

An addict will only get help with their addiction when they are ready. There will be no excuses!!! They can’t be forced into it. When they are not ready, they will throw blame around like it is going out of style. If we are rescuers, we think we have the power to make it better. We think if we just tell them this, or do that, they will stop. No matter how hard any of us try, we will fail if we take on this responsibility. Children will take this defeat personally, so the best advice is to not get them involved in any attempts to make their parent different then they are. This is a challenge, because if we are fixers kids will see the behavior and try to mimic it. They will attempt to rescue and will be defeated, but the difference is if they are young, they only see what is concrete. This is so hard to watch children struggle through watching a parent disappearing. The effects are endless and they different issues can show up in their interactions with other family members, school, friends, and authority to name a few. BE AWARE and BE VIGILANT!

Children Need to Know: This is Not Their Fault

We have to remember to look at the situation through children’s eyes. They feel rejected and abandoned by the first male and/or female who are supposed to love them and that they are supposed to trust. If we didn’t have this experience, it is REALLY hard to imagine what that would feel like. The addict can’t accept love from others because they don’t love themselves. They are filled with so much unhealed shame that they try to cover it up with their addiction of choice. The negative energy that consumes them inside is projected out to the world. They focus their energy on all the negative things. When good things come in, they sabotage them, because deep down they feel unworthy of the happiness. They will create chaos to feed their addiction. It is a toxic cycle that can be passed down from generation to generation. In order to break it, we have to see it in how a child sees and treats him/herself.

Teaching children the importance of seeing their best qualities and forgiving themselves when they make mistakes will help them brake the harmful patterns of shame that can be passed down. We can help them to understand that nobody is perfect because we are all here to learn. Some of us will have harder lessons than others, but the good thing is, the harder the lesson we learn, the more opportunity we will have to help others through our experiences.

Make sure they are reminded that they are not to blame for their parent(s) actions and no amount of love they feel and show can change a person who is caught up in the cycle. A person must love her/himself in order to show love to others. If they don’t what they think is love becomes warped and manipulated. They will actually use it as a tool to hurt themselves and others unintentionally, because really they are just projecting the ugliness they feel inside.

Prayer can help release children from taking on the burden of fixing their parent (s). Just remember to let them know that prayer will help them when they are ready, because we all have free will. We are capable of resisting negativity or positivity. We have to do the footwork.

Prayer: Please help (fill in name) to feel the love of all the people who love him/her. Please help (fill in name) see their good heart and find the self-love and self-worth to release them from the grips of addiction. Please guide (fill in name) to find their way out of the darkness to be able to feel, accept, receive, and give love. Amen.

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Keep the Focus on the Positive

The addict is an addict. We can’t fix that situation, so it does nothing for us to blame and resent them. It definitely doesn’t help to try to blame ourselves either. I know how hard this one sounds, but our resentment will rub off on the relationship we have with the children involved and it will not make for a healthy situation. If you have been honored to take a child out of a toxic situation and give them a loving one, keep it loving. Resentment is a toxic energy and it will play out in these children’s lives throughout their adulthood. We need to help them focus on what they do have instead of festering about what they don’t. When we focus on the positive, we attract better lives.

A gratitude jar is a great way to help kids find things daily to be grateful for. One day, they may realize how amazing their life is because of how strong the situation made them. We can’t control the addict, but we can control how we treat the people we love. By not blaming and shaming ourselves or others, we bring a positive light to a dark situation. This can make all the difference of how it will play out later down the line. For now, we are simply giving children the seeds of hope. If they keep watering them, they will grow strong.

Let Children Talk About How They Feel

Be open to let children talk, but be careful about how you respond. Listening and letting them know that you hear them is so important. Ask questions, and try to limit statements. Honor how they feel. DON’T tell them they shouldn’t feel a certain way. These are their feelings, try a response like, “Sorry you feel that way.” Let them know you understand, and if you’re sad about the situation tell them. Stick to the feeling. Don’t get caught up in a conversation that is way over a child’s head.

Sometimes things happen that we just don’t understand and it doesn’t make sense to us. This is a part of life and a lesson we all face all through adulthood. Think of it this way: When we are helping children through painful situations we are planting seeds for tools they can use for the rest of their lives. We all want to be heard. When a child feels rejected and abandoned they can feel defenseless in the world. If they learn that it is safe to express feelings and find healthy ways to cope with them, we are helping to break toxic shame cycles that come from suppressing feelings.

Repeat the emotion they are saying they feel or try to get them to name it. “I hear that you are feeling very hurt. Is that right?” By using this active listening tool we make it clear that we REALLY hear what they are saying.

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Get Support

We can’t change the addict, but we can change the effect the addict has on us. Do the research. The only way to have a positive outcome in this situation is to work through it. Denial of the truth is your worst enemy. Get help! Give children a safe place to get their anger and fear out physically. If the child likes sports, find a way to get them involved. Coaches and teams have a positive impact on kids. Find extra-curricular activities that support the children’s well-being. Acting/ drama is a great tool for children to learn how to express themselves physically and emotionally. There are plenty of forms of physical exercise that can help: trampolines, punching bags, bike riding, yoga, etc. Find the right one for the child. Some kids love reading, research books that deal with this kind of issue.

Search out programs for yourself to help you navigate your way through the situation in as healthy a way as possible. There are 12-step programs for family member of addicts. These programs aren’t focused on changing the addict. Their focus is on the health and well-being of the person attending the group. The groups are centered on what we can control, and that is us and how we deal with the situation.

DON’T Force the Addict to Participate in Children’s Lives

This can be one of the hardest things. We want to fix the situation for everyone and we know that a child having her/his parent is so important. The temptation to try to fix it and make it right will be tempting and most good people will try to do this multiple times before they realize it’s devastating effects. We can love the addict all we want, but they will only get better when they are ready. Forcing them to be and do something they are not ready to do will hurt all parties involved. For the addict, it will add to the vicious shame, hate, guilt cycle and often times sends them further down the addiction path.

For the child, they will be rejected over and over never giving their wound time to heal. If we are not addicts it is hard to understand the power of addiction, and it is not personal to any other person than the addict. No matter who they blame, addiction is a path that person went down by making a lot of poor choices to run from their lives. It is their problem, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have negative effects on the whole family. If we try to force an addict to be there before they are ready, the broken promises will keep coming and the hurt will keep growing and festering.

Teaching a child the power of prayer for the parent to get the help they need or to feel love are great prayers. Just don’t keep opening the door for them to get hurt over and over. When and if the addict is ready, they will get the help they need and will work on fixing any broken relationships they feel are important. Trust that if they are not showing up for their kids, there is a good reason and it is in the best interest of the children. It just might be that the kids are Divinely protected. If you have a spiritual practice, trust in the Divine power of the Universe and that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to for the highest good of all those involved.

Now, the effect of addiction to family members can range all over the map. We can feel like victims, martyrs, saviors, along with having extreme episodes of depression and anxiety. I’m not blaming the addict for this, but we find a coping mechanisms that fits our thought and behavior patterns. The good news is even if the addict stays active, we don’t have to keep getting effected by their choices. This takes work, because we have to break our own unhealthy habits. How do you know if you are healthy or not? It’s all in the reaction. Do you feel like it is your job to change the addict? NOT HEALTHY! Do you think you can change the addict? NOT HEALTHY! Do you feel like a victim to the addict? NOT HEALTHY. These are not easy things to look at on our own: therapy, spiritual practices, 12-step programs, books, seminars, etc. There are many necessary combinations between them and they are all paths to recovery. We are not alone, especially now. We have access to any kind of help we need, we just have to be willing to dig deep enough.

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I’m not talking out of a place of unknowing. If you know about me and what I write about, you know AL-ANON (a 12-step program to help families of alcoholics) is apart of how I broke many of my unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. I have been through therapy; have a B.A. in Human Development, which was focused on psychology; and I took multiple courses dealing with addiction and solutions for people effected by it. I have also read countless books on self-help, spirituality, shame, and all variations that lead me to better thought and behavior patterns. My focus is on solutions. I have made plenty of mistakes in my attempts at bettering challenging situations, but I keep trying. I’m still learning daily.

My final piece of advice is be kind to yourself. Sometimes awareness can be painful. We may still freeze and feel lost at times. We may spend days crying and lose our cool out of frustration. Just because we understand things logically doesn’t mean the heart won’t feel the pain and the grief that comes from watching someone we love get lost in the throws of addiction. Keep praying, keep moving, and keep taking care of yourself. Don’t get lost in taking care of others. As they say in Al-Anon, we must put the oxygen masks on ourselves first in order to effectively help others.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff

www.facebook.com/FromALovingPlace

www.twitter.com/Wolffspirit9

www.FromALovingPlace.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love on A Cancer Journey

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One of the journeys through life that can be so different is watching someone’s cancer journey. I come from a large extended family and both of my parents found new and amazing partners who brought me even more extended family. I have had to watch multiple family members and friends have to travel down the cancer road. I’ve been blessed with people overcoming amazing odds and I’ve watched people fight so hard to survive and then have to say goodbye. The love that shines through has always been what touches me most.

Just like anything else, people have so many different ways of dealing with cancer. Family members and love ones have their ideas and the person going through the diagnosis has theirs. Sometimes they can be much different. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn to do is honor every person’s space when they are faced with this hard life lesson. Cancer is a lesson for anyone that it touches, whether it is loving someone with cancer or going through the journey ourself. Sometimes, we forget all the people who are affected by one person’s case of cancer and each person has a personal journey through it.

I’ve been amazed at what people have done after being touched with cancer. Things a person would never even thought of before the diagnosis touched their lives. I’ve seen organizations formed, money raised, community outreach, and all kinds of support and love come together to help. In my life, I’m amazed how my life and schedule open up when people I love really can use me being there. When my dad was dying, my boss and co-workers were so incredibly understanding and gave me the time and space I needed to be with him, and my mother in-law stepped up to help with the kids, so I could fully focus on my dad in his final moments of life. Recently, the same opportunities (thanks to my amazing family) opened up to be there for a family member going through getting a stage 4 diagnosis.

I’ve been able to be there to support her choices of how she wants to travel her road. I’ve seen miracles and road blocks leading us to everywhere where we are led to be. I have seen so much love. I’m brought to tears when I really think about all the incredible love that has embraced my family through this process. I’ve never been this close to finding out a person’s diagnosis and decision making process. I didn’t have any idea what to expect as every piece of information kept coming at us during the moments before knowing what we were dealing with. I didn’t understand how hard it was to keep people in an ever expanding loop of loved ones wanting to reach in with love and support.

As prepared as I thought I was, nothing could have prepared me for the feelings that have come from this experience. Each person’s journey is so different and listening to all the ideas and views along this path have been overwhelming, but they have helped me to understand so much more than I ever did about the process. I have to remind myself to let each person be where they are and not judge. I may not agree with all the decisions made, but I don’t have to, my job is to honor and love each person involved.

When we know the outcome, because of a person’s choice not to fight the cancer there are a lot of different feelings and emotions that people go through. The person in their end stages are wrapping up loose ends, reviewing their life, sharing their love and gratitude with their loved ones, and coping with all the changes  happening in a very short time frame. This is just the beginning of what is going on, not to mention what happens with all the mental facets as more drugs have to be administered to keep them comfortable.

As a loved one, all the quick changes take a toll too. So many different thoughts, feelings, and emotions come through. Sometimes it is not always thoughts that we want to have and we have to reconcile feelings of  guilt and shame for emotions that are completely natural, but we still need to figure out how to forgive ourselves.  We have to make decisions that we know are going to have a lasting effect on our lives. Being far away while all this is going on can be brutal. It is hard not being right there because you don’t know what is going on and your brain can go crazy with scenarios and fears. For me, there are moments I can be there and there are times I can’t. What I’ve seen is that when I’m not there someone else is and that is their piece of the journey. I’m only there when I’m supposed to be there. If I’m meant to have a different role, I need to trust I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

I have a couple family members who want to be here, but circumstances don’t allow for it. They have both struggled being so far away, but I don’t think they know the importance of their roles. If we are not meant to be around the people we love, we won’t be. We can share e-mails, texts, Facebook messages, and provide support to the other people helping. Each person’s journey through this is important to the peace and love that the people in the trenches feel to help them through this challenging time. The people who are meant to be there will be. I know it has been hard for me to trust that (which is why I keep repeating it), but it has proven true time and again. When we are going through this experience we have to remember the power of love. There are no boundaries. Love can reach out to any corner of the globe with no obstacles.

In my case, I know my loved one going down this path feels the love. I know she doesn’t expect anyone to do more than they are doing. She is in awe of the outpouring. That’s what matters most. The cancer journey is not easy on anyone involved. The best gift we can bring to the table is love. Trust that all the people and situations that will be best for our loved ones  will show up. Keep loving energy at the core of everything! If you send love, you are helping. Please don’t beat yourself up for what you can’t do. Focus on what you can and do it.

As a very personal note, I want to thank all my loved ones for their love and support. I’m so blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

With an ABUNDANCE of Love and Gratitude,

Rachael

From A Loving Place