Feeling the Gratitude….(& A Few Oprah Favorites)

6230854973_52df93805d_zThis week a beloved member of our family died. His name was “WARFY”.  He was a 19-year-old cat my husband got from a farmer while looking at a camper shell from a local craigslist ad. This elderly man had about 20 animals on his farm and was having difficulty “keeping up with them”. As a big Star Trek fan he decided to name his pets after various characters from the show. My husband fell instantly in love with two tiny kittens who were born from the same litter. “WARFY” was the large, dominant and friendly one. “DATA” was a much more shy and reserved feline….

….At any rate, I remember getting ready for my Sunday night shift and passing Warfy as he was attempting to climb up the stairs. He stopped part way and looked up at me as if to say, “Can you carry me the rest of the way?” I called my son and had him grab our old friend. I told my boys, that the time is near and they need to say good-bye. At 16 and 10, they did understand, but it was nonetheless difficult for them. He passed in his sleep some time that night while snuggling next to my oldest son….

image….Fast-fowarding a couple days, I’m was confronted with more sad news today. My son came home today and told me his friend’s mother just died at the age of 31, due to complications from drug and alcohol use. This was like the cherry on top of a sundae. Throughout the week as a therapy student and healthcare worker, I’m already inundated with sad news.  this sort of ring-side seat tragedies and turmoil definitely leaves is impact upon me…

…Today, while scrolling through the OWN Network Youtube Videos, I found myself watching on a few random clips and reflection upon the happenings of my week.  Here are a few favorites …

The Power of Gratitude….

imageThis video discusses the power of gratitude:  a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness.  I am a big believer in the idea that what you focus on expands.   In other words, like attracts like.  If all you do is complain, what you get back in life is more to complain about.  Focusing instead on what you have to be grateful for is a powerful force for change.   My job is helpful in putting things into perspective, I’m profoundly aware that life itself is a gift.  Tomorrow isn’t a guarantee.  Every day, is all there is…..

imageI’m grateful for my two boys & the opportunity I have to watch them grow into two young up.  I almost lost my oldest son & endured a miscarriage before having my youngest.  I love these two boys with every ounce of my being…

imageI’m grateful for my “partner in crime”.  He has brought into my life the experience of knowing what it is to be truly loved.  I am grateful for this in ways words don’t describe after surviving a “dysfunctional” relationship in my youth…

Finally, I’m grateful for 40+ years of perfect health.  I’m grateful for all the life experiences that brought me to the present moment.  They have allowed me to grow into the person I am today.  I spent my youth working through unresolved traumas.  I now have opportunities to work on myself, uncover my true potential & life purpose.

History or Destiny?  Which one are you choosing today???

“When you hold onto your history, you do it at the expense of your destiny….” – T.D. Jakes

I love this tidbit, definitely an “AHA MOMENT”.  As this video notes, you only have so much energy in life to give.  The question which then naturally comes to mind is: where are you focusing your energy?   It has taken me many years to let go of old traumas, and begin forgiving unresolved transgressions within my family.  As T. D. Jakes also notes: “Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself”

Taking Responsibility…

“When you know better you do better” – Maya Angelou

Here, Oprah describes feeling alone after being moved away from her grandmother.  She states she came to understand then that “If anything is going to move forward in my life, I have to be responsible for making it happen.”  This means seeing yourself as a solution the the problem, and living by the serenity prayer.  What can you change?  Focus on this.  What is beyond your control, (i.e. other people and/or circumstances)?  Let it go, forgive, and move forward…..
*The power to change things is in the present.  Put all your focus here….
*Be willing to see things for what they are.  This requires a bit of Radical Acceptance…
*Take constant & consistent action in the direction of your goal.  

Believing in Yourself

You become what you believe you are and you get what you believe is possible.”– My Mother …

imageBeliefs when unexamined exist as self-fulfilling prophecies.   Oprah calls these “Shadow Beliefs”.  Examining these belief systems and understanding them is critical to “Getting Unstuck”.  Failing to do so, means acting on all your unresolved bullshit.  You perpetuate what you deny endlessly like a hamster on a wheel.  Understanding this, has allowed me to dig deeper, into the true nature of my motivations.  What drives me forward?  As Oprah notes, until you understand this, all you can do is mindless acting on your shadow belies. In the end, you’re running away from what you don’t want, according to a predefined and skewed belief system.

The Secrete to Surrender…

“God can dream a bigger dream for you than you could dream for yourself – Oprah”.

I still struggle with this life lesson.  Surrendering control and allowing things to happen is difficult for me.  However, I’ve noticed that when I hold too tightly to something it escapes my grasp.  For much of my life I’ve felt “perpetually stuck”.  Creating forward motion has required me to learn to let go.

*I’ve set goals for myself.

*I strive to achieve them.

*I’ve hope for a successful outcome.

*I’m doing all I can, one step at a time.

*I surrender & hold onto my faith.

*Things will fall into place as they are meant to….

*This is what is meant by “letting go”

Love Liberates

“I’m grateful to have been loved and to be loved now & to be able to love because…love liberates it doesn’t hold – that’s ego.  Love liberates.  – Maya Angelou”


Images: 1, &  2


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