Remember Me, But How?

My journey of self-discovery started years ago, and I wasn’t even aware. The components to what would allow me to find my true path in this life as the true me would show themselves throughout the course of my walk before I understood what it all truly meant.  I say this because I believe that is true for all of us. There are light bulbs that go on in our hearts and in our head many times during our journey, but it takes experience, love and self-awareness to begin to listen. Today after yet another profound discovery about myself, I was drawn to pick up an old journal and out dropped a single piece of paper with the following written on it, front and back. This was written 10 years ago, before I read the Universe Has Your Back, before I read a single self-help book and at the start of what I will call now my journey to my truth…

light
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I am about to turn 30 and I am amazed even still with the events, people and personalities that surround me. In my opinion my life is “low key”, I don’t party, I have limited friends and for some reason as a few have said I am still a drama magnet… For so long in my life I was such a negative, unhappy, unpleasable person. … I see things different for the most part, a genuinely happy person yet still unpleasable. …., and I am still amazed, shocked and uneasy with the amount of sadness, pain and insensitivity.

I think the one major thing in my life that has massively changed is the ability to forgive. It has set me free but leaves me questioning why we are so shocked at the behavior of our children. ….we live in a society of revenge, hatred and negativity. …. Blame drugs, blame TV, blame others, but really, they learn from watching us, as individuals and as a whole. 

Not too long ago, I was talking to a friend and telling her that I was lucky to have not lost, in death, anyone close to me. My “luck” didn’t last long after that conversation, and it continues to remind me every day is precious and beautiful, and to be negative and unforgiving is a waste of time and energy because what you do here, now, reflects who you are after death, and how do you want to be remembered?  

While this may sound like rambling to you because honestly that’s what it was at time, this was the beginning for me. How did I want to be remembered, what legacy was I to leave behind, specifically for my children? From that point forward, I was searching for the answer. While there have been many challenges along the way, and lessons I needed to learn, I find that one thing is for certain, forgiveness is the key, and love is the answer.

My journey will continue and will be ever evolving because I believe that is life, and while I am much farther along than I was 10 years ago, I know I still have a lot to learn. My wish for you is that you listen to your heart and the lessons, fill your life with love, and live with good intentions in the journey to your truth.

Much Love,
Lisa J.

Finding You

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The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome ~ Derek Walcott, “Love after Love”

FINDING HAPPY, ONE DAY AT A TIME – The End but Just the Beginning

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Wow, wow. I can’t even believe that tomorrow marks three whole months since I began the Finding Happy posts along with the Facebook group challenge. This life “project” began as a way to spread positivity, light and love into a world that desperately needs it, but never did I imagine how my own life would shift in the process, and I am overwhelmed with joy. My intention when I began was to encourage hope, healing, and living, and to remind you to believe in yourselves, your strengths and the incredible light inside.

To my surprise, as I walked this path with all of you, I found pieces of me I was never aware of, desires I didn’t know I had, and scars that needed healing. And, while I completed my own personal “paper” goal of posting in the group every day for 90 days, I also accomplished internal goals by facing my fears, reflecting on my past and overcoming giant mental and emotional obstacles that blocked my way to my true path. In addition to these enormous steps in my own life, I have also had the privilege of reconnecting with old friends, making new ones and have had the opportunity to hear your stories of gratitude, kindness, fears and inspiration along the way. There are no words to describe the fullness of my heart.

I cautiously began this journey years ago, but the shift that took place this time around when I jumped in both feet, was a shift I am eternally grateful to have experienced. They say 21 days makes a habit and at 90 days it becomes a lifestyle, and let me tell you, that is no joke. While no life is perfect, and times still get hard, there is a significant difference in how I live them, because now, when the dark days roll in, the light exists in me. I may need to allow myself to feel the present emotions of these moments, but I am better equipped to handle them, and come out the other side at a run instead of a crawl. As a whole, my steps are lighter, my thoughts are kinder, my heart is love and I am happier.

The results are quite remarkable, and it’s a journey I will never regret, especially because my biggest lesson through these last few months has been that good truly does exist. It may be in many forms, and you may have to look deeper, but it’s there, and when you walk in the good, and the more good put out into this world, the more that comes back to you.

For me, there is no doubt that the practice of conscious positivity, kindness, gratitude, love, forgiveness, dreaming, facing fears, and self-care has shifted my internal thoughts, ideas and heart to a better place, and it’s a practice that I intend to continue, and I hope you do too.

For all who have followed me from the beginning, all who joined me in the middle, and those who I have not yet met, I thank you, and I believe in you. Be the good and continue to be the amazing you.

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It is my full intention to stay the course and continue posting in the group daily, however, the format may change just a little. I know that many like a challenge, because it feels like something they can begin and end, a task they must fulfill for the day, and it’s something they can mark off the list, I would like to get away from that label, and call it “Finding You, One Day at a Time”. There are so many components to what makes you the you that you are meant to be, and happiness is only one of them.

It is also my plan to begin sharing my stepping stones to this place in my life after years of sadness, anger, blame and rebellion. I have learned through this process that while we all love to hear what we should practice, we are even more encouraged to act when we hear why we should practice.

I hope you stay tuned, as one door closes and another one opens…Welcome to Positively Love, Scene 2319, Take 40, Finding You, One Day at a Time… 😊

Much Love,

Lisa J.

This is Me, This is My Why.

book

Photo by Pixabay

In contemplating my next post, I realized that through this journey so far of discussing honoring your story, love, forgiveness and finding your Truth, I never properly introduced myself. I find that to be a gigantic oversight, because how can you relate to someone who talks about having a story but never told it. While each of my posts give you a glimpse of who I am as a mom, a writer and that my path has not always been smooth sailing, I feel it’s time to give you a summary of me and how I got here.

While I could write a book about my life to this point (unpublished, but I actually have, which is how I found my love of writing), I feel a good summary of significant points in my journey would be enough to give you an idea of just who I am, and why my path has lead me to this blog and to the desire to write a book.

Me

There is beauty and humility in imperfection. ~ Guillermo del Toro

As a Child –

As a younger version of me I grew up as the oldest of two. I’d like to think of myself as a good big sister, but I was far from it. The moment my brother came home, there was something really special about him, and I knew it, and was jealous enough to make his life miserable for a while. Eventually, we were able to heal our relationship, and presently, we are closer than we have been most of our lives.

However, this particular personality trait is what drove me a good portion of my life -jealous, angry and easily triggered. I felt I was constantly trying to prove something. I was the only girl on my mom’s side of five cousins and my brother, so needless to say, I was a tomboy always looking for my place. I was also an introvert who loved reading, quotes, poetry and art, and dabbled in a little of it all, but never felt I excelled at any, which led to much self-doubt.

My Anxiety-

Most of my life, I never understood what it meant to be empathic or highly sensitive. (This is a post I plan to cover later on). I never equated this trait to my anxiety. In a nutshell I could actually feel when someone was sad or disappointed, which made me very susceptible to worry, fear, anxiety and depression. I suffered from much of these growing up, never understanding where it came from and how to name it, let alone control it. I learned to hide it well, like I did many things. I felt if I was able to hide my true feelings, I could go through life just like everyone else. Not until later did I realize that facing these truths allowed me to understand them, and embrace them, which allowed me to truly live as me.

In Relationships-

My stubborn ways stayed with me as I grew up, and if I set my mind to something or believed I was right, there was no convincing me otherwise. This is where my universal lessons came into play, specifically in my relationships. I chose partners that reflected who I wanted to be, not who I felt I was. I wanted to be confident, strong and know my place in this life, and chose people who I felt exhibited those traits. Unfortunately, these tended to be strong personalities that eventually did not mix well with my own, specifically when I was attempting to find my unique voice.

I was married and divorced twice with two kids before I was thirty years old. After these divorces, and still trying to find my place, feeling that maybe I had it all wrong, my next relationship was with my best friend, who was female and lasted eight years, but also ended due to my need to find out who I truly was in this world. While I now share my life with a wonderful man who is the reflection of my soul, and who walks with me down my true path (this is a story in itself I may write about one day), I have learned through this journey that I am forever grateful to those I’ve shared my life with, as they have shaped me and guided me to where I am today.

My Kids-

My kids are my heart, and I feel I learned a lot as a mom as we grew up together, but it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Due to my failed relationships, my daughter moved 10 times before she was 10, and my son suffered from night terrors, which I have carried guilt about for so very long. They are now 18 and 13 and we have wonderful relationships, but the stories in between could have lead us down much different paths. The biggest lessons I have learned about life have been through my kids, and I am blessed to be in the place I am with them today.

In Work/School-

Growing up I never knew what I wanted to do with myself, and was guided in different directions, but ended up within the legal field where I spent most of my adult life. I earned my paralegal degree and worked within several different law firms over a 20 year period. I struggled with this for some time, especially because within that span I learned what writing truly meant to meNeeding a change, I am currently in school as a psychology major, and I found a place within real estate for a utility company. While my passion lies elsewhere, I love that I can support my family surrounded by wonderful people.

In Faith-

I grew up Catholic and for many years I resented the religion and much of what it stood for, never understanding that there is much more to faith than religion. I have found through the many lessons of life, including death, that there is much we can’t see, and much we don’t know, but something much greater exists. In my journey, I have found my faith again, and this has taken me to a new level of understanding and love.

In Life and Death-

My turning point came when I experienced death in a way I never thought I would experience it. While I had lost family growing up, never did I experience the depth of loss until I had to say goodbye to those who were younger than me or close to my age and heart. In a short period, I lost an 18 year old family member to a fire, a young cousin to addiction, my grandmother who I was very close to, way too soon, my three year old step-nephew to illness, almost lost my dad, and my daughter was gravely struggling in her world. These events rocked me to the core and changed my course.

Once I was able to comprehend what had happened in my life, I was determined to walk the path I was here for and live how I was supposed to live, in happiness and truth, instead of sadness, regret and anger, which took me to my WHY.

My Why

There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. ~ Simon Sinek

My Passions-

I have so much to say about this, but will summarize because I plan to post about each stepping stone to my true Why as I continue to blog. My passion for writing started as a kid when I learned just how much quotes inspired me, and still do. I began writing my own from the heart, and at one time even submitted some for copyright. I also loved to draw and read, however, I never thought of myself as creative because my definition of creative was skewed, and felt I didn’t qualify since I wasn’t good at just making up stories on the fly, or a designer or painter.

As I dabbled in the written word through poetry and quotes, I didn’t find my true voice in writing until my second marriage. I was home with my son and struggling with being a mom again, figuring out who I was in the world, and my relationship as a whole. I decided one day to sit down at my old computer and start to type. As soon as I opened that door, the words began to pour out like they had been waiting all that time to be heard, and from then on I knew deep down this was what I was meant to do, it was the matter of figuring out in what capacity.

Me
Me!

As I found my voice in writing, life got in the way and I began to work again, and while I temporarily buried this part of me to just do the day by day thing, other passions showed themselves, reminding me that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I volunteered at the dog shelter, feeling I needed to give back, and I ended up writing about the orphaned dogs. I found I loved to coach, started with volleyball and now coach beginner runners, which is where I found that inspiring those to live their best life is my calling, which I began to write about. I then started and stopped blogging over the years and finally I started this blog and just keep going. Feeling as if there was a hole in my heart,  I was searching to fill it, and I ended up right back behind a keyboard.

While my WHY is to inspire through my own stories and lessons, my HOW is through this blog and eventually my many books 😉 I believe every one of us has a WHY and a HOW and it is up to us to find out what they are in order to live the very best versions of ourselves in this incredible life we have been given.

Our purpose is our reason, and living in that purpose is when you become who you are meant to be. I cannot thank each of you enough who take the time to read this blog and to follow my story, and my hope for you is that you find your purpose, and you share it with the world so you can live as the very best you.

Much Love,

Lisa J.

What’s Your Story?

Love Them Anyway

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Photo by Pixabay

As we walk through the journey of life we will experience the presence of many different people who will touch our hearts in numerous ways. Some are with us from birth and some enter our story in different chapters, however each of them can bring a kaleidoscope of inspiration, disappointment, joy, heartache, happiness and pain. Those who bring us joy, those who show us happiness, are those that allow this journey toward purpose and peace simple and effortless. However, realistically, there will be disappointment and we will feel pain, and the source may be from those we love.

The pain that they may bring, the heartache they may cause and the disappointment you may feel can bring you to your knees, question your faith and, at times, destroy your hope. It is our most human trait to believe in the purity of love. We are wired to believe that if one loves another, they will not cause the other harm. When that trust is shattered, to believe again seems like a pointless endeavor. I know this, I’ve felt this, and I’ve wanted to pretend that the pain was a figment of my imagination. In response, my heart hardened, and my world may have been darker, but the path was smoother, risk-free with no cliffs, no valleys and no chance of falling again. The loneliness and the pain that came when the center of my being shut down was something I never expected.

The pain of shutting off and closing my heart to just walk this earth without really living was a pain I didn’t realize I was feeling, but when I did, I knew it was not a path I wanted to travel. For so long I didn’t want to believe that those who happened to enter my life were imperfectly human, yet they are human. They are breathing, feeling, heart-pumping humans with battles within themselves that we are unaware, and we are not to judge. It was difficult for me to accept that each one of us is an imperfect soul that strives to piece together this puzzle of life, and that while the choice of crossing paths may not be ours, the choice to love them anyway, whether we choose to stay, or to walk away is ours to make.

I recently heard an interview where the author spoke of a conversation she had had with her priest. She asked him if he felt people do the best that they can in this life. His response led me to reassess my entire outlook on those who cross our paths. He asked, if God were to come down and tell you that these people that have hurt us, disappointed us or caused us heartache were truly doing the best they could, they were living their life the best they were capable, would your perspective change? It was a powerful concept that has been difficult for me to shake, and I have used in my process of understanding and forgiving. What if they are doing the best that they can, and while understanding may be difficult to ask, love them anyway, even if it must be from afar.

So…love flower

When your parents shatter the perfect image, you have carried in your mind since you were a child, love them anyway;

When your children don’t act like the perfect angels you wish them to be, love them anyway;

When your spouse/friend/partner disappoints, betrays or hurts you, love them anyway;

When family doesn’t treat you like family, love them anyway;

When the random stranger shows you nothing but angst, love them anyway;

When you cross paths with someone who emits hate, hurt and sadness, love them anyway; and

When you feel like you are not worth the effort or feel alone, love you anyway;

…because honestly, we need more love in this world.

The more love we emit, the more love we will receive. We don’t have to agree with the actions or surround ourselves with those who are blind to the beauty of this life, but we can wish them love in their hearts, and love them anyway.

Much Love,

Lisa J

FINDING HAPPY, ONE DAY AT A TIME POSITIVITY & GOALS – WEEK THREE

It’s a few days late, but the message is all the same! Have a wonderful week finding happy one day at a time!

negative people

Week Three already! that’s too crazy to me. It’s been a busy week with chasing dreams and make lists and taking steps towards our goals!! I’m so excited you are following along and hope you continue to make steps toward the definition of your happy and never stop believing in the you that is amazing.

Some of you may be at a point of asking yourselves or me why I do this and is it making a difference? Truthfully, when I’m asked these questions, I smile before I respond because as I contemplate my answer, I can actually picture in my mind how I feel writing these posts. I can honestly say, that writing this, writing every week to remind you that you are amazing makes my heart full of happy, and if I can put out even a small percentage of what I’m feeling back into the universe, and into the lives of those who read this, I feel I am on the right path for me. I write as a reminder to you that that the feeling I explain is absolutely without a doubt possible for you too. You are amazing, and you have abilities beyond your understanding, and I will continue to remind you of that every day.

So this week, while I still want to focus on our goals and positive thinking, I’d like to sprinkle in some gratitude and kindness along the way. We can never be too thankful for the goodness in each of our lives and you can never be too kind to those around you. Small, large, quiet or dramatic, we all have blessings that fill our lives with love, joy, laughter and happiness. Let’s take a day or EVERY day this week and reflect on each one and remember that no matter how we may be feeling, even a glimmer of light and hope is a glimmer and that is something to be grateful for.

So here we are, week three. Let’s begin…

Day 1 – Monday

Get Out Those Journals for Some Gratitude. We’ve started each week in September with our journals, so I figured why not keep to the tradition. Let’s take a flashback to last month and make a list of all you are grateful for today. These can be as simple as your hot coffee, but be grateful for all of the perfect, imperfect, crazy, calm things in your life. Each and every aspect brings something important whether it is a lesson not yet learned or the piece that finishes your puzzle. Gratitude will fill your heart with love and allow you to move through the day with a  gentle stride.

Day 2-Tuesday

Take a Step Toward Something on Your Bucket List.  Just like acknowledging and writing down your goals, it’s only a list if you don’t take steps toward it. You’ve listed items that you want to accomplish before you leave this earth, now look at that list, take it in, pick one and make one baby step or the whole plan toward accomplishing it. Research the how, and make a plan! Your time to start is now!!

We are not promised tomorrow so live today and love each moment https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/ffd/1/16/1f9e1.png

Day 3-Wednesday

Sprinkle Some Kindness. Today let’s sprinkle some kindness and give out some compliments!! Tell someone how their smile brightens your day or how their shoes are cute or you appreciate them. Sprinkle some kindness today and not only will you make someone else’s day you’ll make yours as well!!

Day 4-Thursday

Acknowledge the Negative and Detox. Last week we discussed acknowledging a bad habit and making steps toward squashing it. This week, I’m going to discuss something a little more difficult, people. Do you ever leave a conversation with someone and feel worse about yourself and your situation than you did before? Is there someone in your life that does nothing but bring you down with their negative energy making you feel exhausted after talking to them? If so, it’s time to acknowledge it and set boundaries and possibly permanent ones. You are allowed to be happy and if someone is taking that from you, you are allowed to stop it. If you don’t have this in your life, that’s awesome, today, focus on breaking a bad habit.

Day 5-Friday

Do Something Healthy for Your Body. Yep, I think I’m making this an every week think 😉 Get yourself moving, drink more water, eat a little healthier, drink alcohol a little less. As I say, baby steps are still steps. Now that you’ve been doing it every week, maybe set a goal, like train for a 5k or adding another day on the calendar to run or workout or just take a walk. I can’t repeat it enough your physical health is important to your mental health and with the gloomier days of winter around the corner, there’s no better way to ward off the blues than getting the blood flowing.

Day 6-Saturday

Give Back/Volunteer/Pay it Forward. It’s Saturday and you know what that means!! It’s a fantastic day to give back. This is a weekly task and will continue to be for good reason. When we give back to others the feeling that fills you up is inexplainable. It is a completely different level of happy because you are giving happy to another. This can be done simply, or it can be dedicated time in the day, however you want to do it, but do something for someone else today, without expecting anything in return.

**Remember, these acts of kindness do not have to be extravagant. Pay for a coffee, carry some groceries, donate, volunteer or just be kind without expecting anything in return.

Day 7-Sunday

Reflection/Self-Care. Love this day. Today is the day to connect with your why and your inner thoughts and emotions. Today is the day to remember the amazing person you are. Spend this day to take a moment to reflect on your week, and on why you chose to practice positive. Use this day to meditate, pray, read, sleep, or just sit in the quiet to calm your mind, hear your heart, and connect to yourself so you are ready for the week ahead. I know life can get busy, but please do not skip this day, it’s so very important for your well-being and for your soul.

***Please share some good books, I’m looking for a new one to read!!

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You have choices in your life and you are in control of your feelings, your reactions and your path.  Choose kindness, choose gratitude and choose YOU because you deserve it. Don’t be afraid of change, don’t be afraid of dreaming and don’t be afraid to be the true you. Spread the love and know you are loved😊

As usual, I will be posting on the Finding Happy One Day at a Time Facebook Page throughout the week to check in on you all and would love to hear from you so don’t be shy!! Keep writing in your journals, it’s so important!! Thank you for sticking with me or just joining me on this journey, it is my hope to persuade you to alter your thoughts, even a little, in a more positive direction, while you help me find my happy too!!

Much Love,

Lisa

 

Once Upon a Decade + Eight

Eight years ago I wrote the original version of this post. Today, with a few tweaks, bittersweet feelings and a heart overfull with love, I post it again to my strong, sweet, creative, amazing daughter on her 18th birthday. Legally, you are an adult, but you will always be my  little girl.

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Once Upon a Decade (+Eight) an Angel was born…

How time flies – from the moment you entered my life, the world that I knew was rocked to the core.  I had been blessed with the most beautiful rose, hands so small and eyes so big.  Never did I think I could love so much, never did I believe this tiny little person would change my ways, my heart and my path, and continue to do so years later.  From first words to first grade, first crush to first car, everything you have done, and will do, is extraordinarily out of this universe.

My life was forever altered, and I am eternally grateful.  Although I knew from the beginning I could never give you the world (as much as I want to) and I could never promise perfection, today I give you what’s in my heart.

As we celebrate your EIGH(TE)ENTH birthday, I make to you the same promises that I made the day you born, and every day since…

I promise…

To always be there, whether you want me or not, big or small. I may not be able to solve whatever comes your way, and I may not always understand, but you will never need to question my presence, either by your side or in your heart;

I promise…

To be that mom. Your biggest cheerleader for all that you dream of, work toward and accomplish. I will also be the quiet shoulder for the times you feel unsteady or shaken with words of comfort and encouragement;

I promise…

To allow you space to make your life choices, whether it be school, career, friends or relationships, this time is yours to find your tribe, your path and your passion;

I promise…

To never lose faith in who you are or what you can do. You have shown me every moment on this planet that you are capable of more than anyone will ever know, and I will never doubt your abilities, your intelligence or your heart;

I promise…

To listen, discuss, debate, agree and agree to disagree with you, but no matter how heated or how controversial, I will always end the conversation with a hug;

I promise…

To be your mom. Yes, you still need a mom, and wherever life may take you that is one fact that will never change;

I promise…

To let go, step back, and watch you grow up into the incredible woman you were born to be, and stand in amazement as you awe the world with the light that you bring; and

I promise…

To love you unconditionally with every piece of my heart, forever and always…

I Promise.

Happy 18th Birthday my Sweet Ms. Rose, follow your heart toward all your dreams, and may this next chapter of your life bring you more joy than you can imagine, love that fills your soul, happiness beyond measure and so much fun and laughter you never forget how amazing it and you are!!

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I love you!

Mom