Archives for posts with tag: inspirational

Gatekeepers

Are you a gatekeeper?  Have you ever looked around and paid attention to how many gatekeeper positions exist?  If we start with the highest place to go to, assuming it is a place, the pearly gates have a gatekeeper called St. Peter. And if we go to the netherworld there are also gatekeepers called devils by some, who let us in if we are blacklisted.  But, let’s face it, these gatekeepers whether real or mythological are not the ones that make it or break it for us in this lifetime and external world.

Try calling the President, not difficult to know there is not only one but a trail of gatekeepers to get to the top,  they are tiered and numbered. Try calling someone you don’t know, even if they are not important as in the case of the role of President and even there you run into a series of questions or machines.  Gatekeepers are everywhere.  They sometimes are in the form of machines and some are in human form acting like machines.  They serve a purpose.  Who gets in and who does not. They have criteria that must be met for us to get in if they are strictly objective. However, we do know that in the exercise of power, some let you in just  because they know you or are related to someone they want to know.

In every world, whether it be business or personal, there are gatekeepers.  We are a gatekeeper ourselves. Think of when you shut your phone off, do not answer the door, bolt the door, connect your friends to each other or not, relay messages or not. Think of how you feel with the sense of power you get when you let someone in through the gates on your own criteria or when we make exceptions to the criteria we should follow to let them past the gate.

In the external world, the gates and gatekeepers are too many to count. We navigate them daily, some of us lose ourselves just to get in through some gates and gatekeepers as is often the case with power, fame or fortune. We sometimes sell out for power, fame or fortune.

Yet, fortunately,  we are the only gatekeeper to our inner world.  We are the only ones that can enter that world, explore it, learn from it, clean it, heal it, expand it, keep it small and tight, or large and bright.

Sometimes, when we trust someone, we let them into this very personal world. We become vulnerable to them in trust. We also become prey for betrayal.

It is this inner world where we have our personal power, not given by roles, fame, prestige, money or criteria of the external world, but by our birthright of being spiritual beings in this human experience.

Some of us fear going past this gate into our inner world, thinking we will only discover the “prodigal” shamed, unacceptable, ugly, worthless, loveless self.  But, this is only that, a “thought” turned belief, about ourselves shaping our self concept and feeding our self-esteem . One we created or learned, albeit, with the help of early caregivers who were the first mirrors of our self and from which we got the raw material to birth our first self concept and sense of self and self-esteem. But we do not have to carry that self-concept into adulthood.

Fortunately, we leave childhood physically by chronological age, unfortunately, some of us never leave it emotionally or psychologically. None of us leave it unscathed by the milieu of our upbringing whether it was a good one or not, but we do leave it with the freedom to re-invent ourselves or better yet, to rediscover who we really are underneath all these thoughts that keep the gate closed to the endless power of our true spiritual self.

If we want to evolve to higher consciousness, we must go past this gate and past these blockages of our fears and thoughts and beliefs of who we “think” we are and enter the realm of being.

Entering our birthright of being a “being of light”, one in the union of the one spirit from which all life comes. But we must go past the gate. Criteria: fearlessness, courage, desire to come home to love and being and living in that interior space of light and love. For only from this place of transformation can we transform and heal others. Are you a gatekeeper?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

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Decisions

Decisions…make one and you can create a new world or a new reality. Open a book and get transported to a new world or dilemma, get your worldview challenged or feast your fantasy. Pick up the phone and you may find frustration with the phone tags, machine responses, or joy in the solution you seek. Some decisions have the capacity to change a moment, others a lifetime.  “I do ” at the wedding altar is quite different from the “I do” on the witness stand to the “I do” when asked if you own something you are claiming. Yet they are all decisions.

Some decisions can be made in our mind only and our circumstances do not change only our perspective, others are executed and our circumstances change for the better or worse.

Indecision can buy us time or create hell (as per Dante’s definition of hell: indecision). Make a decision and change your mind if things do not work out.  Yet some re-decisions and decisions create major life inconveniences.  We are always deciding from the moment we awaken to the time we fall asleep. Shall I have coffee or tea, call them or not, wear a coat, take an umbrella, make a lunch date, pay a bill now or later or never, break up or ignore or forgive. Little decisions, big decisions.

Decisions are powerful and are a tool we often undervalue.  In retrospect we know the decisions we make consciously or unconsciously as the evidence is before us due to their consequences.  But can we make decisions mindfully and proactively or leave it to chance and say “let’s see what happens” and be reactive when the circumstances change without our input. Not to decide is to decide.

For when we offer no input others basically decide and we abide or balk.

All decisions are powerful when they change our life, yet the most important of all decisions is to choose the attitude with which we will respond to all events in our life. Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, movingly shares his experiences and insights as he lived his days in Auschwitz and invites us to explore the choices he made through the power of decision.

There is a process for decision making. Most of us  may know it but it never hurts to review.

1. Know what your are deciding.

2. Know all your options.

3. Weigh each option against your values.

4. Know the implications of each decision to the best of your ability as there will always be unforeseen consequences. Guaranteed!

5. Live out the decision in your mind only and exclude all other choices for a period of a week or two and allow all feelings related to the decision to surface.

6. Explore all the feelings that surface with the decision and process them.

7. Make another decision based on your options and repeat the mental and emotional exercise.

8. Determine which decision you can live with in peaceful co-existence.

9. Make the decision.

10. Execute

11. Re-evaluate after a period of time to see it if still fits into the goal you were seeking.

Which decision will you make next?  Will you decide to heal and become the best you?  Will you choose to evolve and rise to a higher state of consciousness and being.  A state of unity not division?  A state of love not fear?   Can you live in these decisions, sustain the decision with the actions they require?  Or is it all just “lip service?”  There is an adage that says:

“Put your money where your mouth is!” What will be different in your life as a result of your decisions or indecisions?  Decisions…make them and your world changes.  Create a new world, a new reality with a decision.

 

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

There are some things in life we can change. There are some things in life we cannot change. If we can change it, we then seek solutions, but if we cannot change it and it was significant to us, then we need to grieve our loss. It is amazing how easy it is to get stuck on the journey of grief.  The two favorite parking places are depression and anger. There are those that choose to stay depressed as a way of life and those that carry a chip on their shoulder as a way of life.

 It is important to know that grief is a journey…an emotional one measured by the content and quality of the loss. Grief is not a mental experience nor defined by an objective standard.  We are in grief when we organize our life around our loss…that which is gone and absent.  And grief will continue until we organize and readjust our life to that which is present and around us.  Yet having a mental road map keeps us moving, normalizes our experience and validates our feelings along the way. The road map is not a fixed one and we can move forward and backward on the myriad of feelings. There are many books written on the steps of grieving and not all steps are identified with the same name or the number of steps. Elizabeth Kubler Ross  (On Death and Dying) and Granger Westberg,(Good Grief) both deceased offered many insights in their books from the work with those who grieve. Those of us who have lived grief can offer and expand on these insights. The steps are from Granger Westberg’s version, the explanation for each step morphs with my understanding and experience. 

Loss and grief are a universal experience; it crosses gender, age, socio-economics, and ethnicity, as well as cultural, religious and geographic divides. It unites us on the common ground of “meaning lost”. It seems no one escapes grief if we dare to care and love.

Loss happens and only we know how significant it is as we are the only ones that ascribe meaning to our loss.  So when loss happens in our life, the drama begins …yet without our acknowledging the drama. 

Shock and Denial quickly show up and we do not acknowledge the loss.  The reason of course is because the reality is often too much to bear all at once.  We cannot handle the dose of the reality.  It is like trying to stare at the sun all day without sunglasses. We cannot do this…so we are given the gift of shock and denial as a respite from the harshness.  But it is only temporary… we will move out of this place otherwise it is maladaptive to the process to remain in denial indefinitely. Shock and denial can last from a few minutes, hours, days and maybe weeks but then our facades break down and we release the emotions.

Sadness, Depression, Loneliness often follows the breakdown of our shock and denial.  A welter of emotions find their release in tears, but it can be overwhelming. If we do not move and release the emotion we can get stuck and get sick.  As long as we get triggered emotionally, it means our grief is not over, our work is not over. Notice the larger part of the word emotion is MOTION…keep the feelings moving through us. With these dampened feelings, we tend to isolate ourselves, lose interest in life and activities.  Life is hard to go on with, as there are so many adjustments, too many demands on us, yet, life goes on without us and we do not care. We feel no one cares, not even God.  We can experience despair.

Physical Symptoms of Distress can follow if we do not want to deal with the changes in our life, and we put up a front of being okay… our body soon will call us liars. We will experience symptoms of sleeplessness, or too much sleep, backaches, restlessness, eating too much or not enough, headaches; we can get sick. There is a strong relationship between illness and grief not dealt with in healthy ways. We are invited to re-examine how we look at life, explore our faith or lack of it.  Lost meaning invites us to create meaning again in our life. Beliefs are challenged.

Panic Strikes when we realize our life will never be the same again. We can think of nothing but the loss. We are hindered and less effective in everything we do. We cannot concentrate or focus and are paralyzed with fear.  The way we knew life is forever gone…forever hard to grasp.  We want to run away from life and living. We often slide back into the comfort of depression as we are familiar with it by now and social demands are eased. But how do we get out of this pit of panic…the scariest part of the grief… the realization things will never be the same again!!!!!!!!!! AGHHHH!!!! But just then the blessing of the energy of anger shows up!

to be continued…

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Our capacity to experience pain is directly related to our ability to love. This is not a masochistic statement, but rather a sort of paradox of living life. How can it be that pain and love go hand in hand?

For starters we all have a certain amount of energy to do life with each day. If we are using some of it in the emotional bank to hold old pain that had not been dealt with effectively, our fuel is less than a tank full. It seems that pain ties up our energy and when we do not work through it we let the pain hold us captive along with the energy it takes to hold onto the pain.

When we do not allow ourselves to live through our own pain we will also not let anyone else do so and thus each time someone is in pain we either dismiss their pain or minimize it or outright tell them they should not feel what they feel.  Why?  Because we do not want to be reminded of our own pain that WE cannot deal with.

As we are able to truly heal our pain, we will find that we will be able to hold someone’s pain and really accompany them on their journey of healing. Whoever holds our pain when we experience it and allows us to be in the pain as we need, is someone who is not afraid of this experience. They have lived through it and know it will not destroy us, but rather transform us at the end of the journey.

Who can you share your pain with? Who do you allow to share their pain with you? If you have to release and heal any pain, be encouraged to do it for you will find that when it is released and healed, it will free up the energy you did not realize was wrapped around it…and guess what?  Suddenly you will have more energy freed up to love even more.  You will have greater capacity for love! Now is it not better to have more of the beautiful energy of love than of pain? 

Some of us may believe that if we let go of the pain, we stop caring about this loss that created our pain, but the fact is that because we care, we should be eager to work through the pain of loss as it will allow us to free up the energy for love.  The energy of love lifts us and others; the energy of love transforms us and the world around us.  Be courageous and heal your pain.  You will be glad you did. 

Our greater purpose in life is to love to the greatest and deepest capacity, not to be diminished by pain to the point that we can no longer take the risk of loving again.  Inadvertently holding onto this way of living, weighed down by pain, and believing it is purposeful robs us of the gift of living and loving fully.   

Heal thyself, so you can help others heal…and the world will be transformed as it is lifted from the pain that can keep us all small in our love for others and for ourselves.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com