I’m missing my friend Wally Smith this week. He passed almost a year ago. Wally was my best friend and confidante since I was 7. He was always there. He knew my entire history. I’m not sentimental. I’m someone who enjoys walking through life on my own and unpartnered, but I feel his absence. Yes, I have a boyfriend now and couldn’t ask for a better one, but there’s a special bond with someone I’ve shared my entire life’s history with. Ah, it will pass. I observe the emotion when it moves through me, and I stay quiet until it passes. And it passes. “The cycle of grief has its own time table. Until that cycle is honored and completed we are moving along life’s path with an anchor down.” ~Ann Linnea, Deep Water Passage.
RELATED: Rest in peace, Wally
Grief is a new emotion to observe
The end of death as we know it
Respect is our language. If it isn’t said with respect, we can’t hear it. This is why nagging is ineffective and self defeating. This is why statements made in sarcastic tones, or with rolling eyes, will never be received well. We have a filter in our brains, and a statement made in disrespect will be filtered out like the poison it is. Matt Walsh
Armand Della Volpe
The driver who cut you off in traffic? The neighbor who lets his dog into your yard? The friends and family who won’t pull their weight or just seem out to get you? Things are not always what they seem. We see something and get an idea in our head what it all means. Sometimes what we think it is is not what it really is at all. What you just experienced may not be what I just experienced. If we don’t speak about it and hear each other out, we don’t know that. Spiritual brother Armand related a story that is a great example. He wrote: “We recently allowed a friend to stay in our home for 2 months while we were away. She offered to take care of our home, mail, kitty and even give us some money to cover the utilities. She was told that if she ever needed help, our regular house and kitty sitter could come and help her and she would have to pay her. This was all agreed to.” Continue reading
October 10, 2015: Happy Mercury Goes Direct Day! Everyone who gets nervous each time Mercury goes retrograde can relax for while. After tomorrow, Mercury retrograde ends and Mercury goes direct again. That means enough of the drama and mis-communication of the last few weeks. After Mercury goes retrograde is the time to slow down to notice changes you’d like to make, but you’ll wait to correct them after Mercury has gone direct. During the retrograde, your time is best spent looking back in review – not looking forward. Mercury direct, however, is the time for new beginnings, setting the record straight, for making plans and commitments. It’s the time for clearing up any disputes you’ve had the past few weeks. It’s time for getting everything out in the open and making plans for the future. It’s a time to take steps toward financial self-sufficiency and to deal realistically with your debt. Continue reading
Last month, I saw an interesting segment of Judging Amy, wherein juvenile judge Amy Gray‘s mother, Maxine, who is a social worker for Dept of Children & Families, is in an anger management class. The class is led through a visualization where they are instructed to “imagine themselves in their happy place” and to see their anger as a red hot ball coming toward them, getting smaller and smaller, and cooler and cooler each time it passes. Afterwards, a small marble is passed around the circle and each classmate, when the marble comes to them, names something that ignites their anger. “My anger is ignited,” one man says, “when drivers don’t signal before they turn.” The next woman says, “My anger is ignited when eating a 2 pound box of candy adds 5 pounds to my hips.” Another says “My anger is ignited when my husband talks loudly and leaves his socks on the living room floor.”
We make promises we mean in the moment. “I’ll love you forever” means, “in this moment I feel such love for you that I want this feeling to last forever.” Why don’t we say that instead? Because we have no role models to “uncouple” in a conscious way. We’ve not learned to identify what emotion it is we are experiencing, nor yet discovered why we are feeling it. When we take the time to learn those simple yet vital skills, our relationships with others become easier and more fluid. No, you don’t stand around talking about your emotions, but what you do is be honest and open at every stage about involvement in the relationship with each other. That way there are no surprises when it’s time to transition into another phase of being. Continue reading
In my paralegal work after I stopped working for law offices, I offered a “friendly divorce,” which was an uncontested divorce which included a property settlement agreement. In it, everyone was in agreement and everything was done in one or two drafts. That’s a big difference from the knockdown, drag out War of the Roses some turn into. It’s like as a society we are somehow uncomfortable with changed intentions and endings. Not knowing how to handle it, we end up shaming and blaming. When it’s time to part, we don’t realize that nothing failed, we simply completed one phase and are morphing into another. A conscious partner can make the transition from romantic/sexual interest to non-sexual friends and allies while preserving a friendship. It is possible to have a conscious uncoupling. Continue reading
Armand Della Volpe
For over 40 years, I have been working on understanding, healing and forgiving a female caretaker for what I have perceived as emotional, mental and physical abuse. I have written songs about it, seen counselors and therapists, gone to retreats, attended intensives, meditated, prayed, written letters, gone to groups, talked to friends and family members, and have even given talks and sermons about it. You name it, I have done it. Throughout the process, my understanding, healing and forgiveness have continually improved. In December of 2012, I wrote my version of a Ho’oponopono letter to her and have since felt a karmic completion of that relationship. She moved to Bali and we have not spoken since. Before leaving, she wrote me a letter stating that she too feels complete with us. Continue reading
I had a most interesting reading last night. A friend heard that her ex recently had “a spiritual awakening” and changed his ways. All she knows is the last time she saw him, it was a drunken public screaming match ending with her coming home to find her clothes boxed up on the driveway and the door lock changed. She says she’ll believe he’s had a spiritual awakening when he apologizes to her and explains to her what happened. For six months she’s been wondering WTF? Now he’s suddenly this nice person to everyone else? But how “spiritual” is that and how “awake” is he if he won’t take the fundamental step to apologize to those he harmed in the past, she wanted to know. I reminded that her only job was to forgive him and not be concerned with what anyone should or should not do. I led her through the Ho’Oponopono Hawaiian healing process. In advising for the past 30 years, I’ve learned that many people not only do not have a vocabulary to express what they feel, they don’t even know what they feel. This frustrates them when they have a life situation they want to change, yet don’t know how to communicate it. So every break up turns into Armageddon when a simple conversation would have left everyone going their own way as friends. Continue reading
I have to laugh at myself. Anytime I get irked that someone is talking and not walking, I remind myself I did the same. Some of us need to psych ourselves up for like 20 years first. It’s helpful to remember it’s a process. Don’t beat yourself up for falling short. Just clean up your act now. When I get irked about anything, when I’m judging and justifying and defending, that’s evidence I’ve let myself get off balance and out of alignment. It’s part of the process. As soon as I notice, I do what it takes to get back to my Godself, then I do what it takes to stay there. That means first forgiving and making amends with everyone I’ve wronged, and keeping my karmic momentum clean. Our present relationships are only as conscious as our past partings are. You know who someone is by how they interact with their exes, and with those who can do them no benefit. When people talk a good game and you know they don’t walk it, recall when you did the same and have some compassion. At least they are on the topic and it’s the job of none of us to judge another, period. As always, I’m only talking to myself here. Indeed, there’s only One of Us here.