living with no expectations of others, liberates me

Having choices is the ultimate freedom that empowers me.   Am I making choices that are healthy?  Or am I making choices to please you,  hoping that your reaction will give me self worth?

Giving freely, expecting nothing in return, is true love and I experience happiness.  I’m not depending on your response to give me a feeling of value.

Giving, expecting something in return, is conditioned happiness, because I’m then relying on you to make me happy  – whether it be praise, recognition, a hug, a gift…the expectation is what sets me up for relying on an outside source for my happiness.

My choices are not about trying to make you happy.  My choices are about me giving my love to you because I simply love you.  If my act puts a smile on your face, lets you experience gratitude, that’s all wonderful, but I’m not taking credit for anything.  I’m just happy to be loving you.  This is when I feel our spirits connect – when we’re free of the other’s expectations.  This is when I feel most intimate with you.

 

putting a smile on someone’s face is different from being the source of someone’s happiness

Over the years I’ve learned that I can’t make other people happy.  They have to find their own source of happiness. When I was a little girl, I’d listen to my parents and their friends gather and brag about their children, as if we were their prized possessions.  If I did well, I received loads of praise and love, but if I didn’t end up in first place, I was shamed, “Why couldn’t you be more like Susan?  She practices 4 or 5 hours a day!”  I felt responsible for my parents’ happiness.  If I did well, they were happy.  If I didn’t, they were ashamed.

As I’m learning to find my own self worth that is independent of pleasing anyone else, I’m realizing there’s a fine, but very distinct line between doing something for someone from my heart, and doing something for someone from my head.

When I give of myself, from my heart – simply because I am filled with joy when I give, I expect no recognition whatsoever.  I like imagining the smile that I put on someone’s face.

When I give of myself from the ego I expect something in return – whether it be praise, appreciation or love.  I sit there waiting to be acknowledged, and if I’m not recognized for my work or gifts, I feel resentment, anger, or discontent.

Giving pure simple love, wants nothing in return.

The words on my tea bag yesterday read,  “The person who gives love is happy.”

 

Amongst the trees, I find my core, and blissful peace

It felt so nice to unpack my suitcase last night.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been six months since I walked out and started this new life of mine.  My brother and sister-in-law generously offered to have me house sit their new home while they do some minor remodeling to it.  So I actually have a walk-in closet now! My clothes are nicely put away in drawers and hangers (who knows for how long…wow!)  Thank you Andy and Cindy!

Living a somewhat nomadic life has taught me that I really don’t need a lot, and that the simpler my life is, the clearer my mind, and more in tune I am to my purpose in life.  I’ve also learned that I have friends and family who love me and who are wiling to extend a hand.  As I live through the heart, I find that people touch me with theirs, which gives me the constant reminder of hope and gratitude, and the creation of tons of joy.

I am filled with such peace and excitement that this is yet another chapter in my journey to live my life to its fullest.  I’m getting to know a part of LA that I haven’t yet explored.  My run this morning was absolutely glorious with tons of big oak trees lining the streets, and giant hills to climb.  I am just now understanding why this area is called Sherman Oaks!  The giant oaks are everywhere – such beautiful trunks and so majestic in their expansive spread of wandering branches.

Now that I have a home and have unpacked my bag, I can begin the serious edit of the book that I finished writing back in April.  I supposed I needed to feel my roots in order to begin to feed my leaves.

Living in complete acceptance of what is, and feeling the joy of a simple life

When I think about how wonderful my trip to Austin was, I’m just filled with awe. It was one of those trips that just renewed every part of me – mind, body, soul. Tai planned activities that I love – biking along the river, and then through city streets, swimming in a cold spring fed pond, cooking our favorite foods and sharing that food with people we love, playing with children and seeing them create the most magnificent pieces of art, hikes in nature, night yoga, listening to sweet music.

But part of the renewal of my being was realizing how our shared interests, and appreciation for the simplicities of life, are so often taken for granted.  When I pause and experience the awareness of just how beautiful every one his choices was in planning the ultimate visit with him, my heart is touched.

You see, I know he can’t make me happy.  I arrived to Austin a happy person.  The plane had been delayed several times due to the thunderstorms in and around Austin.  I didn’t let those delays create conflict in me, nor did I allow the bad weather to deter my enjoyment of the visits.  I just accepted that there are things out of my control.  Nature will have its beautiful way.  We rode bikes in the rain, and it was glorious!

Instead of the weather being hot and muggy, the rains cooled off our surroundings. And instead of expecting that Tai was going to make me happy by changing his plans, I allowed what was planned to simply put an even bigger smile on my face.  I was filled with the simple joy of being with him, his girlfriend, and the love that we share.

 

 

Little ones renew my spirit

Spending time with my son Tai who lives in Austin, Texas is absolute bliss.  Each moment is filled with awe as he notices every critter that passes by, and his girlfriend, Kayla, notices every flower that graces our path.  We spent most of the day at the Montessori school where the two are teaching art to 3 to 6 year old children.  I wish all children could attend this school.  It’s located in a remote area outside Austin, that is heavily wooded with animals that roam the land.

Little children’s minds are so curious and open.  They remind me to see the world as a child.  When I spend time with them, my spirit is renewed.

There is no fear of questions, no fear of possibilities, no fear of judgement – just a simple trust in the world as it is.

Children feel and see the world through the heart and it’s such a refreshing reminder.

i can’t help but love you

love is not something that i can turn on and off.

born out of love, i give love without question.

over time i may learn to hold it back.

i may learn to judge and criticize.

i may learn to give it only if you give me something in return.

i learn to use love in ways it was not meant to be treated.

love is not a currency that can be measured and counted.

love is not to be owned, or traded, or bought.

love is to be shared as if it were limitless, yet as precious as if only a tiny drop remains.

out of love i can put a smile on your face, but i can’t make you happy.

that’s your job, not mine.

“love in such a way the person i love feels free” –  free to be who they are, not who i want them to be.

love is not about pleasing someone else..

love is true.

love is abundant.

love flows forth in my smile, my hug, my touch, my eyes.

my feelings may be hurt, but my love is constant.

my love for you is unstoppable.

no more trying to please someone else; i am who i choose to create

“you should dye your hair – you look so old.”  my dad commented with disdain as he watched me prepare mom’s food and head back over to the hospital.

Looking at me grow old, must remind him that he’s aging as well.  Funny because I don’t feel old.  It’s all a matter of perspective.  And if  I’m always willing to learn, open to seeing new views and to consider new ideas, I’m not getting ‘old’.

“And you shouldn’t wear short dresses.  You’re too old, ” he continued, clearly unhappy with the way I looked today.  He must not have gotten a good rest.

I’ve learned over the years not to take his comments personally.  It’s not easy when I’m the only one in the room with him, and he’s staring right at me.  But I practice patience with my father, and I try my best to understand that this is just a person who has no filter, and that he’s not in a comfortable place emotionally.

Today I’m making a choice to be happy, and not hurt.  In the old days, I would have tried to defend myself.  Or I’d try and please him, and change the outfit I was wearing.

Today I choose to listen with respect  but know that I don’t have to be someone my father wants me to be.  I get to be who I want to be.   I don’t have anything against someone choosing to dye her hair, I just would prefer that I not.  My ‘wisdom wires’ have just become a part of who I am.  And as for my dresses – I like to wear what’s comfortable.

Right now my father feels out of control and powerless.  He so wants to keep my mom from dying, and there is absolutely nothing he can do to fix her, so he yells or criticizes or complains.  I think of it as his way of coping.

I’m not going to react to his criticisms and I’m not going to take his comments personally. And I’m certainly not going to change my clothes or who I am, just to try and please him.

I’m just going to love myself and listen with all my heart to a man in a lot of fear.