Trust Is Not A Gift

I raised my children before computers and cell phones. As they began to venture out with friends, spend nights in other people’s homes, etc., I began setting boundaries, telling them to check in with me, and being sure they had change for pay phones. One of them asked me why I didn’t trust them, after all they were my children!

This is when I began to teach them why the virtue of trust and being trusted is so valuable….because it is earned. It is proven by a history of behaviors that have shown others that they would consistently do what they said they were going to do. Now that they would be making many decisions on their own, they needed to show me that they would consistently keep agreements with me and live up to the expectations those agreements created. I also taught them the agreements must be spoken and agreed upon by everyone involved, i.e. each of them and their father and me.

I remember saying to them “I don’t trust you because you exist. I will trust you because you show me that you can be trusted.” Then I reminded them that they grew to trust me because when I said I would do something, I did it.  Over and over again.

Trust is not a gift. It must be earned.

May each of us find ourselves trust-worthy today. Blessings.

An Old Thought…

This comment  was made by Charles Dickens. Wouldn’t he be stunned by the way we communicate today!    His comment more meaningful now than it was when he made it:

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.

The only thing I would add to his thought is that this is even more true when there is the need to resolve misunderstanding or conflict.  Text message cannot communicate the tone of your voice or the feelings on your face and in your eyes.

Enough said. Blessings of love and light, dear hearts.

Laughing With A Friend

Do you have a friend that enjoys life? A friend with whom you relax and find yourself laughing at the ridiculousness of life and, quite honestly, at yourself and your fellow humans?

Do you have a friend that you laugh with on a regular basis because you just “get” each other? I’m talking belly laughs!

Do you have a friend like this?

Perhaps you can find one…or be one.

Just a thought.

Laugh With A Friend

There is nothing better than laughing with a friend – except laughing with more than one friend! Last week I had lunch with three friends and the laughter flowed without restraint. We were all so funny! I have no idea if the other patrons in the restaurant would agree but, as far as I know, no one asked that we be thrown out. Last night I went to a screening of the new film “Finding Dory” and we were laughing before we even arrived at the theater. Then we laughed with the entire audience during the film. Then we laughed on the way home as well as in her parking garage! I came home smiling and went to bed relaxed and at ease with myself and my world.

This morning that is all that is on my mind. I am blessed with friends who love to laugh and, together, we create opportunities to laugh (and I mean belly laughs!). The friends on my mind this morning are all in their 60’s and 70’s. We have paid our dues and had our joys and our sorrows. As we continue to ripen (yes, I said “ripen” because none of us are wilting with age!), we know the importance of being present and appreciating our moments and our days. There are still challenges because life is what it is and we are not the exceptions to the rules. We also know we can move through the intense times and return to the laughter and that is our preference.

We have life, we have each other, and we can share the laughter with friends.

Life is good when we laugh with a friend.

May you be blessed with laughter, friendship, and love today. Peace.

Friends

Has the word “friend” lost some of its meaning to you because of social media? Do you think about the difference between a friend and an acquaintance? When I was in my twenties, I made friends quite easily, or at least I thought I did. What I actually did was make assumptions. I didn’t understand that an acquaintance becomes a friend over time, as we learn to truly listen, trust, and know each other. An acquaintance is a person I like and enjoy spending time with now and then. A friend is a person I do that with also but who also knows my sorrows as well as my joys. A friend will be there for me when life’s challenges start to overwhelm me. A friend will trust me with his/her sorrows and allow me to offer support when needed as well.

It has been said for many years that you are blessed if you can count the number of true friends on one hand. I agree. In the times of my greatest joys and my deepest sorrows, there have been just a few people that I turn to immediately. One listens and asks what I need. Another calls my name into multiple churches for daily prayer. Another will laugh or cry with me and know that is enough. These are my inner circle, my family of friends, and I am profoundly grateful for their love and faithfulness.

Understanding this difference between a friend and an acquaintance has allowed me to love and appreciate the people in my life without falling prey to hurt because of my own mistaken expectations. I love them all and they love me; the difference is the level of intimacy as well as the spiritual/emotional purpose of our relationship. When I am clear, my relationships are also. There are fewer misunderstanding, fewer pressures or demands. Life is simpler, easier, and more fun.

Love all ways, dear hearts.

Namaste.

In the Company of Love

What do you experience when you fall in love, whether it is platonic or sexual? Take a moment and remember that initial rush of meeting someone who wakes you up, invites you to interact with them in some new and exciting way. You laugh more easily, listen to that person’s stories with great interest, and you tell your own stories as though no one had cared to hear them before. You want to see that person, talk to that person, get to know that person. It is a vibrant and fun and wonderful time in a relationship. It is love taking root and beginning to blossom.

One of the experiences I have become aware of in recent months is that I am lighter, happier, funnier, more loving when I am in the company of someone I love and who loves me. In literature and films, this is usually portrayed as being the result of the other person making me happy, better, more complete. I see that differently now.

I am responsible for my own happiness, growth and completion as a human being. Why then do I give the credit to someone else just because I just met them or fell in love with them? Is that what I am doing? Because I recently uprooted my life by selling my home and moving to another state, I am very aware of not having my precious, wonderful, loving friends in my life on a regular basis. When I visit them, it is exciting and filled with love and laughter. I miss them and I miss the “me” that I am when we are together!

This was a revelation to me. It isn’t just that I miss a person. It is that I miss who I am when I am with that person! And I miss who we are together, what we create when we interact. Our energies unite; our spirits combine; our hearts dance. Oh yeah!

I am content with mySelf. I love my life and the time I am having with my family here. I am meeting new people and know that soon I will fall in love with new friends and form new experiences that make my spirit soar and my heart dance. No, it won’t be the same because each of us is unique, each relationship is different. It is wonderful that I do not have to lose what came before in order to embrace what is coming now.

To those I see less often, I love you and cherish every phone call, email and visit so please keep those coming. To those I have yet to meet and love, welcome to my life. My heart is open; my soul awaits your presence. Join me in the company of Love.

Aum shanti. Namaste.

Finding Others in Oneness

Last night I moved outside my comfort zone. I ventured into a unknown neighborhood, in a unknown town, to join people I had never met in a meditation/study group. My heart pounded as I got dressed and prepared to leave. Walking into a room, not knowing anyone, has always been a challenge for me.

As the daughter of a military man, the wife of a military man, and eventually as a single-again woman, I have relocated over and over again throughout my life. This experience of walking into rooms of strangers is not new to me. It has never become easy or second-nature to me because part of my fundamental nature is shyness and I am also extremely comfortable being alone with myself.

But I do it anyway because I must find new relationships and forge new friendships. This is necessary to my well-being. I need alone time and I am happy within myself. However, I know the value of be-ing with others and of loving and being loved in return. We are designed for this. We are profoundly connected in our souls and our souls seek to commune with one another.

Community can be 2 people or 50. It can be in a megachurch or at the family dinner table. Human beings thrive when loved, hugged, and when loving and hugging.

So, I walked into that room and was welcomed gently and warmly. I looked into the eyes of the people telling me their names and reaching out their hands. I saw the sweetness of their souls and I hugged them in return because I need to be hugged right now. There were seven of us sitting in a circle. We had tea and a bit of food; some snacking, others having a small meal having come straight from work. The evening unfolded as it began, gently and warmly. We meditated and then read a short passage from Rumi. Discussion followed and each person shared from their journey and from their heart’s desire for understanding and enlightenment. The time passed so lovingly that I settled into their presence with ease of heart and mind.

I have found a place to begin. I have met people of like-mind and I am looking forward to getting to know them. There is a similar group in a different home and town next week that I plan to visit as well. It will be easier because the host of that group was there last night so I have met her. I am quietly excited to begin this part of my journey. I suspect there will be familiar souls among those I meet, perhaps because our personalities or journeys are similar or perhaps because there are connections from other lifetimes. Only time will tell.

When we circled for a closing prayer, my heart was overflowing with gratitude that I had the courage to go outside my comfort zone. Perhaps some of you are on the brink of an opportunity to do the same. If so, take heart, breathe deeply, and go for it! I support your journey into the unknown and send blessings of joy to come.

Namaste.