Bridge (Phoneography and Non-SLR Devices Photo Challenge)

 

I love how the filter makes the green so lush in this photo that I took on one of my many walks.  This one was taken at a local greenway.

Taken with my iPhone 5S.  Processed on Instagram using the Lo-Fi Filter.  Phoneography and Non-SLR Devices Photo Challenge, Week 5: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Feeling Unappreciated?

I was reminded of a valuable lesson today. If I feel unappreciated for something I’ve done, I’ve done it for the wrong reason. True giving, whether it be of time, treasure, or talent, comes without any strings attached. If I give with any expectation, I am not giving from the heart.

When I give because I want to do it, it gives me great joy. The irony is that if I give from the heart, without any expectation, I am given all sorts of gestures of appreciation. I give because it makes me happy, not because I want something in return. Because I do this, I get so much more in return than I could have ever imagined. Sometimes it comes from where I least expect it. And I feel very appreciated.

The Best Way to Find Mr. Right

Notice I did not say the fastest way to find Mr. Right, but the best way.  Now, I have been divorced twice, so you may not want to take advice from me.  I will say that I have learned a lot from the mistakes I’ve made.  And I learned something very valuable after two failed marriages.

When I tell people I am on my third marriage, he tells me, “No, this is your last marriage.”  I have definitely become successful at marriage, and I want to share my secret for finding Mr. Right.  (What you do once you find him is on you.)

I was a single mother with four children and, although I was not bitter about marriage, I simply was not interested anymore.  I idealized marriage and was not able to make it work.  I had been thinking about the fact that men didn’t treat me well.  I was attractive, intelligent, kind, and industrious, yet I kept attracting men who used me for a door mat… and frequently a meal ticket.

It occurred to me that I was going to stop waiting for a man to do nice things for me, and I would just do them for myself.  In particular, I really wished that a man would bring me flowers, but they never did.  So one day when I was doing my grocery shopping, I purchased a bouquet of flowers.  I took them home, cut them, and put them in a vase that I dug out from the cabinet under my kitchen sink.  I put them on the kitchen table and stood there looking at them for a long time.  Although I don’t even remember what kind of flowers they were, I remember the feeling I got seeing them on my table and smelling their perfume on the air.

This was the first step.  I began doing nice things for myself on a regular basis.  I went to nice restaurants.  I bought myself a silver bangle for my birthday.  It had a heart cut out on the inside of the bracelet (where no one else can see it), that reminds me to love myself.  All these little things added up to a huge change in the way I carried myself and in what I would now expect from a potential partner.

I began dating after I felt whole, and one of the first serious relationships I got into showed me how far I had come.  He had me flown to where he lived and he was waiting in the airport with a dozen roses!  Although I chose not to continue that relationship, I was being given affirmation that I deserved this kind of treatment.  Incidentally, the fact that I could end a relationship with someone who was good to me, not because I didn’t feel worthy, but because I now knew exactly what I wanted in a relationship was amazing in itself.

Then I met my current last husband.  If I had met him only a few years before, I would never have considered dating him because I would have felt he was out of my league.  I am grateful I found him after I found my own self worth.  He opens doors for me, brings me gifts (often when I least expect it), teaches me new things, and gives me permission (not that I need it anymore) to take care of myself.  He believes in me, builds me up, and is strong for me when I can’t be strong for myself.

So if you are looking for Mr. Right (or Ms. Right), the best way to find him (or her) is to stop looking, and treat yourself the way you want to be treated.  Then he will come looking for you.

Fresh From My Garden

The broccoli in this dish is from my garden.  It is cooked with organic free-range chicken, sliced baby bella mushrooms, and Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  It was quite delicious!
The broccoli in this dish is from my garden. It was cooked with organic free-range chicken, sliced baby bella mushrooms,Vidalia onion, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. It was quite delicious!
I wish I could say the veggies were from my garden, but alas, only the Italian flat leaf parsley was.  The Gazpacho (South Beach Diet recipe) was one of my dad's favorites.
I wish I could say the veggies were from my garden, but alas, only the Italian flat leaf parsley was. The Gazpacho was one of my dad’s favorites.  I use the recipe from the South Beach Diet.
This is currently my favorite summer dish.  It is simply chunked fresh pineapple, sliced English cucumber, fresh mint (from my garden), and fresh lime juice.  Chilled for several hours the flavors mingle together for a refreshing summer side dish.
This is currently my favorite summer dish. It is simply chunked fresh pineapple, sliced English cucumber, fresh mint (from my garden), and fresh lime juice. Chilled for several hours the flavors mingle together for a refreshing summer side dish.

Just as a blade of grass…

Just as a blade of grass will push through a crack in the cement, growing toward the light, we too are being pulled toward a fuller expression of ourselves.
~Mary Morrissey

When I am discontent, I know I am being urged to expand myself.  If I seek light, the Universe pulls me toward my ideal self.  I am more than I ever dreamed I could be, and so are you.

When you look in the mirror…

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you? The two are so, so different. One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses, the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations.
~David Icke

 

I am determined to be the real me.  Happy Wisdom Wednesday!

Mirror, Mirror

I often see a reflection of myself in the people I encounter.  Although we are different in many ways, the members of the human race are also very similar.  As I watch how others behave, I have realizations about myself.  It is very difficult to see them on my own.  But when I am watching others, I see behaviors and attitudes that I possess.  It’s as though we are mirrors for each other.

Summer Solstice

Today’s Summer Solstice, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, will be a little longer for some.   Today my sister-in-law buried her oldest son.  What should have been a day to celebrate the beginning of summer, instead was a day of mourning.

At the graveside service, the officiant quoted from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.  This version is from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE).

3  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2  a time to be born, and a time to die;
    a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3  a time to kill, and a time to heal;
    a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4  a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5  a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6  a time to seek, and a time to lose;
    a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7  a time to tear, and a time to sew;
    a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8  a time to love, and a time to hate;
    a time for war, and a time for peace.

While there may be some wisdom in these words, the loss of a child upsets the order of things.  For everything there is a season… a time to die for us all.  Parents want that time to be before our children.  Time will bring acceptance and healing.  Until then, we allow ourselves to grieve the untimely passing of Zachary Rausch, gone too soon.