Well, last week was a week of lessons for me. While I’m certainly not perfect at it, I consider myself to be a friendly, upbeat, and positive person. I love that my words have been inspirational to some, and my friendship has been comforting to others as well. My sense of humor goes a long way most of the time and it helps me to make friends pretty easily wherever I go. And I’m grateful for that.
But last week I came face-to-face with a situation with a couple of people that took the wind out of my sails. My usual ‘charm’ clearly wasn’t working. And I found myself in a situation where my heart was hurting and I was sliding into a “funk” because of the repeated negative interactions. How the heck did I get here? How on earth was I going to make it better? And would it even matter if I tried?!
I have a strong faith and I certainly turned that way. I have a few dear friends who lent an ear and shined their perspective on the situation. All of these were good, but I couldn’t seem to shake off the funk. Then I started to think about that “law of attraction” stuff I have so often read about and certainly believe in. So I decided to try this … I started reading only positive things, speaking positive things, seeking and sharing positive things. And that’s how I found myself digging out. Today, I feel like the shift has happened. It wasn’t instant but it was profound. My smile is back. My optimism has returned. I feel like I found a tool that I knew about but never really had to utilize before. It’s not magic, it’s just the unarguable law of nature – you attract to yourself that which you put out into the world. And, as the bible says, “seek and you shall find.”
What do you use to dig yourself out of an emotional ‘funk’?
I have found myself a bit surprised over the years to realize that the world-wide web is both vast and daunting, as well as small and inviting. It has elements of a huge city and at the same time, characteristics of a small town.
The blossoming of all the social networking pages like Facebook and this blog has connected me to people in the virtual community that I would have zero chance to meet and mingle with in the physical community. Here I have readers from 113 countries to-date that read and communicate with me. I have friends who I’ve met from FB – some of the groups like “I Love My Margie Home” as well as private groups of people I know in Cincinnati. I have connected with long-lost relatives, reconnected with grade school and high school friends. I have celebrated faith and family, and giggled with moments of humor. Each of these types of venues and virtual connections actually fill a space in my heart.
I have found inspiration, compassion, prayer connections, encouragement, challenging and thoughtful conversation, played games and so much more. Do you feel the small town feel in your walk through the world wide web? Do you find yourself calling physical strangers your virtual friends?
I feel blessed today because of my connections. Be blessed too!
There are so many days and so many ways that I need reminded that I’m on the right path. I know what I believe, what I feel, and what I desire. And yet those things seem to find ways of falling short of what others expect or want from me. And sometimes, they fall short of what I believe God calls me to do and be.
And so, I stand humbly reaching out my hand in love, in friendship, and in faith. I seek to balance the spiritual life I live with the physical life I’m leading. What I know for sure is that is not an easy task. It stretches me to places I don’t expect. I sometimes need to choose something that is greater than the things I want. I must choose the things that align with a greater purpose.
To those I disappoint or hurt, I apologize.
To those I inspire, I pray it is enough to encourage you to keep moving on your positive path.
And for me, I will pray more, listen harder, and continue to seek to move in the “right” direction.
“In daily life we must see, that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful
but gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~ Unknown
Last night was a precious night – the kind that comes around about once a month for me. You see, I have a wonderful group of friends that gathers together once a month. We are affectionately known as Wise Women & Bill (WW&B). And when we come together we enjoy so much – a little wine, yummy food, community and sharing, spirituality and personal development, and hugs – always good and comforting hugs.
This group of women and Bill provide something that no other group of friends I’ve ever had, ever did. There is freedom of expression and unconditional acceptance. I’ve never heard a cross word or a judgemental statement among them. There is no rivalry or competition, no jealousy or resentment. The underlying premise of the gathering is that each person is precious and appreciated. There’s nothing in the world like that purpose or practice of friendship. This is such a unique group of friends and kindred spirits. This is not a church group as everyone comes from different faiths and belief systems. But we deliberately and intentionally learn and grow spiritually from each other and those that we invite to share their gifts and wisdom.
I am renewed every time we gather. Even when I’m beat down tired I make sure that I go because I will inevitably leave renewed and alive. Enjoying my time with them is one of the ways that I pause and take care of me in these busy times.
For all those who gather at the WW&B space I am grateful. I am grateful for the authenticity, generosity, giggles, and tenderness with which we interact with each other. I am grateful for the spirit of giving and sharing. I am grateful for the sense of knowing and questioning. I am grateful for the space to learn and explore. I am grateful for the steady hugs and occasional tears. I am grateful for friends who see me through their hearts and not just through their minds.
I am amazed at the blessings of friendship I have received over the years. As a child growing up in an orphanage (age 3-8) I thought making friends was the scariest thing because none of them ever lasted. Grade school and high school brought a smattering of friends but alas none of them seemed to stick either. I often thought I was destined to be one of those people who was always looking in from the outside. Sad but don’t feel sorry for me – I just needed time to grow up and “see” what I really have.
What I’ve learned is that I don’t have to define friendship the old way. I have true, lasting, wonderful friends that I have kept through moves around the world and across town. I approach life differently now. And when I talk to those friends either by email, phone, letter, Christmas card, or Facebook I find that my bond with them hasn’t changed. That’s because now I define friendship not by the day-to-day intertwining of our lives (although that’s a blessing when I have it as well), but rather as a heart-twining that time and space doesn’t have the ability to affect.
I love my friends and I truly thank God each day that they have been an integral part of my life. So for today, here’s a shout out to my long-distance and short-distance friends. I love you all – and yes, you know who you are!
May today be blessed and tomorrow be better!
Hugs all around,