Friday, January 15, 2016

fInD pEaCe & lOve wItHiN uR-sELf!

LoVe & pEaCe hEaRT

"Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish.
If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself-
if you are not capable of taking care of yourself,
of nourishing yourself,
of protecting yourself-
it is very difficult to take care of another person.
In the Buddhist teaching,
it's clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people.
Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice." 
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, author, peace activist.

Dear fuN & fReE Pps!
I took a picture of this amazingly cOoL bumper sticker a while back when I was running at a friend's cabin. It has two of my favorite symbols--peace & love! You may realize by now that much of my life's journey has been searching for peace and searching for love. I feel like I've looked eVeRyWhErE - - in friendships, in love & family relationships, in food & exercise, activities & unhealthy behaviors, and also at places like church, & my place of work. 
Really, it never really occurred to me to look within mySELF for peace & love . . . until I was so exhausted from searching that I was pretty much running on empty, wholly depleted, and at the      
You see, I have always been the sort of person who takes care of others and manages everything around me. 
WARNING! EGO ATTACK: people depend on me and need me so I must be okay & I can pretend that everything's just perfect . . . but secretly it's pretty controlling behavior, and here's why:
  • I wrongly assumed that I knew what is best for others, and I could do it better & correctly (NOT TRUE!)
  • I did for others what they could have done for themselves (especially true for children, 'cuz parts of their self-esteem comes from them knowing that grownups believe in them and their own belief: "I can do it! I am capable!")
  • If I did stuff for others with resentment, it sent a double message and I got to be a victim
  • It was none of my concern to manage what others think or believe about me
  • I was making myself sick from trying to keep everything perfect . . . PLUS
  • I was not being Dana, or HUMAN, for that matter (don't people who act all perfect kind of piss you off? I must have made a lot of people pretty angry . . . and I am really sorry (had to do some major work around forgiving myself for this one and making amends to people ;)
  • It also meant that I did not take very good care of myself, 'cuz I was too busy minding other people's busy-ness.
It's been tough and painful (understatement) for me to work on this issue in my life---it's so much easier to focus on others than take good care of ourselves. But the good news is--it gets easier. Now, I actually enjoy my own company (most of the time), and I am taking the spotlight off of outside people and stuff, and shining the light on some of my inside: funny thing, the peace and love have been with me all along. I've just been too busy and distracted to listen long enough to feel them.

I am so grateful to be open to life's lessons. I know that each one is being prepared especially for me and that each experience and every encounter with another person is helping move to the next right thing!

Accepting it all (even myself!),
LoVe & hUgs!
Dana the Great (sometimes . . .)

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