6 Not So Secret Ways to Peace & Joy

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

This morning I woke up … score one! Sweetie and I just returned from a quick walk up the rails to trails and back before the day starts. In my mind I am still carrying some thoughts that popped into my head not 2 seconds after my eyes popped open (at 5:15) First, I felt calm, then peace, even joy surrounding me and I wondered how did I get here?

Red Rock Walkin ...

Red Rock Walkin …

A short blog post isn’t sufficient to share ‘it all’; the darkness, fear, chaos, turmoil, depression, anxiety, and worry that surrounded and infused most of my waking moments from when I left high school, through 2 marriages, motherhood, alcoholism, and anger. So much anger it exploded when I least expected and after the blow-outs I felt like a crater after a bomb explodes … empty. I knew I couldn’t continue as I was … I needed to change. I became a seeker.

Always a voracious reader I began a search for relief. Looking back through my ‘growth curve’ I see the words that became the lessons  and once I believed I could; believing I could change made all the difference. I don’t remember all of the books I read, the hours I spent meditating and praying for answers, but I do remember these lessons. I use them every day.

IMG_2599Anger is a secondary emotion.  Yep, that’s a true statement and for me a huge horse pill to swallow. Nah, it’s (name the person or situations fault), right?  Wrong. When I actually lifted the covers to my anger I found my personal profound truth; for me almost everything related to my personal value or to what might impact how the world saw my personal value. I have to revisit this all the time, sometimes, daily … and remember  and tell myself …

IMG_1207_Cropped GrandsonsMinusDakota_27May2015I am enough. Am I really enough? Just as I am, right now, as messed up as I am? Yes! The answer was and is and always will be a resounding YES!  It is a truth we all know, inside, but it is blocked by the cacophony of the world. When I read the Book of Mormon and the Bible and through prayer and meditation I came to know for myself this marvelous truth: I am a daughter of God, who loves me, and wants me to succeed. I could change, I can change, I am worth it!

That's my dad's fly rod ... I helped build for his 47th birthday ... he would have been 85 this year.

That’s my dad’s fly rod … I helped build for his 47th birthday … he would have been 85 this year.

Worry is worthless. “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it only empties today of its strength.”  Corrie Ten Boom. When I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, I found a hero to emulate. Her selfless story of endurance and love in the midst of evil gave me perspective to do what I can. Never give up. Do something, don’t worry.  I learned to ask myself “can I do anything about this” if the answer was Yes …  then take action now. Do It, stop procrastinating. Is the answer No … then let it go or make a plan to  deal with it when it is appropriate or I have the resources, but in the meanwhile, let it go.  What a hard, hard lesson, but, asking that question consistently helped me put whatever it was into perspective by acting on a solution rather than wallowing like a pig stuck in a mud bog day after day after day.

That's right! That's the gaggle :) Council Idaho 4th of July

That’s right! That’s the gaggle 🙂 Council Idaho 4th of July

Forgive.  Forgive myself and forgive everyone. Holding onto guilt, outrage and pain is like walking through concrete yesterday then going back today, picking up the hardened footprints, loading them on a runner-less sleigh and dragging them with you today. It is useless, uses up precious energy, and leaves no room for love or hope. When I keep holding on to ‘the story’, I picture myself picking up that old garbage, throwing it on top of other piles of old garbage and dragging it along.  And another way which has been said many times … holding a grudge and refusing to forgive is like taking poison and hoping someone else will die.  What a gift it is to forgive.

The NW Family in the Meadow

The NW Family in the Meadow

Be Grateful. I’ve learned to look for the positives every day, every where, in every situation; well, at least I keep trying. When I find my eyes down on the road instead looking up, when my thoughts become dark and comparing, I remember these lessons … look up, be thankful and  start naming my blessings.  Gratitude can be learned … I read Simple Abundance, I read The Total Money Makeover, I read The Road Less Traveled … and applied their lessons.  It is so true, “You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you” Sarah Ban Breathnach

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged.  I work on this one always. I judge unconsciously, quickly, and often.   I’ve said to myself, “they don’t deserve it”, “they brought it on themselves”,  or make a statement that “they were (fill in the blank). This lesson I’ve come to understand is part of forgiveness. I was pondering forgiving someone a heinous crime to ones I love; I prayed for understanding, for charity, and just how could I forgive.  My heart still fills with wonder when I heard, loud and clear in my mind and in my heart … “It is not your job to judge, to decide who is worthy of forgiveness, help, care, or love; that is my job.  You are asked to love, just love them.  This is my next lesson.

Moon rise over Bryce Canyon

Moon rise over Bryce Canyon

So  my friends, I’m not perfect, my lessons continue daily … but these things I know to be true … life is meant to be joyful and our hearts light.  Thank you for joining me on my journey … I love you all.

Today the sun is shining. Life is Good and I am Blessed. Random Photos from this past year … blessings everywhere!


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