The last two weeks have been exceptionally difficult for me. Why is it that many of us find it hard to admit our weaknesses and feel almost obligated to only show our upbeat and happy sides no matter what is happening? "Fake it until you make it," is an expression that was drilled into my head when I was feeling less than "perfect." Goodness, we mustn't let anyone see us sad or hurting, much less crying, right?
I often hum or sing a tune that matches my mood. I especially perform this ritual when I am disheartened and have a few favorites that I sing or play in my mind to help lift me out of the slumps. One is the song, Smile, by Charles Chapin, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons. Some of its lyrics include: "Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it's breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you'll get by. If you smile through your fear and sorrow. Smile and maybe tomorrow. You'll see the sun come shining through for you." Again, no one should see us hurting inside.
Maya Angelou stated, "My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return." For me, loving someone is so much easier than accepting love in return . . . . EXCEPT when it comes to my blessed, God-given pups. Their love is pure. Their love is unconditional. And, their love is everlasting. I don't need to worry whether or not I am "worthy" or "good enough." I also don't need to worry whether or not I made a mistake or have a bad habit that needs correcting. I am accepted and forgiven without reservation. No dust needs to settle - I am simply forgiven. Sure, they squabble but they let each other know immediately when there is a need for correction. No waiting. No hesitating. It is what it is! And, what is amazing - their hearts don't seem to have room for holding onto grudges or for thoughts of past errors. It's over; it's done. They show love continually to each other, our family, and our friends.
I continue to learn from my pups are capable of teaching me more lessons than I can imagine. The list is endless -
- loving unconditionally,
- forgiving relentlessly
- never wasting energy by holding onto grudges,
- being me,
- not being afraid to share my emotions and moods,
- living in the moment,
- greeting my family and friends with excitement,
- trusting those who trust me,
- knowing who to trust,
- giving lots of hugs and kisses,
- accepting that I don't need to be perfect,
- accepting my shortcomings as well as strengths,
- listening carefully,
- speaking with kindness,
- correcting with gentleness,
- enjoying my cookies!
- . . . . . . . . . . . . .
While my physical and emotional pain has been difficult these past couple weeks, I reflect on some statements made by others as I try to remember to be as kind to myself as I truly want to be to others.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris
"Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness." Mother Teresa
"'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23 NIV
God bless you, dear friends. Be good to yourselves.