Love Is Good for Your Health

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If you will release all concern about how others feel about you, and focus only upon how you feel about them, you will unearth your core understanding of who-you-really-are, and you will discover what true freedom really is.

Abraham-Hicks

May I share something deeply personal with you?

I’ve been processing a lot of intense emotions the past couple of days. My intention with sharing this part of my story is that it may benefit you on some level. Maybe it will let you know that you are not alone, or that moving through and gaining a different perspective on challenging life experiences is possible. May you find this beneficial in some way.

Last month, I wrote about my father, who died over Thanksgiving weekend.

I had not had any connection with him since I was 15. He was emotionally and physically abusive, and I doubt that many people had any idea of the pain being inflicted on me, my mother, and brothers behind closed doors. It took him almost killing my mother one night for us to find the courage to leave him.

Over the years, I had put a lot of intention around consciously forgiving him, and even came to feel strongly that there was nothing to forgive.

While it was the absolute best decision I could have made to protect myself from any future physical and emotional harm that might have come from having direct contact with him, not forgiving him only hurt me.

Looking back at his upbringing, I had come to understand how he had been broken as a child, and how that had led to his actions with us. I had come to value my childhood experiences as key to who I am today, and to celebrate the different choices and patterns I have been able to make in my life. Where he could not break the cycle of pain, my brothers and I had.

And I thought I had opened my heart to him. When I received news of his death, I felt peace. It felt like the last little bit of my with-holding love relaxed as I envisioned my father on the other side experiencing the pure positive love of All-That-Is.

It was interesting on Friday to have an exchange with someone present in his life with a very different experience of my father. While I felt I listened to and even celebrated their positive memories, I felt saddened about missing out on the father I could have had. While I gave the briefest description of the man we knew, I didn’t dwell on it. I thought we ended the conversation on good terms and I felt positive about having reached out.

On Saturday, I awoke to an email that I am sure the writer did not intend to impact me the way it did. What was written was that my experience challenged their memories and they did not want to have any dealings with them. I felt they dismissed my experiences by saying it had happened in the “short” time I knew him, and it felt like they challenged my integrity and those I am closest to. It brought up old feelings of abandonment, and beliefs about my father not ever loving me.

While I had come to understand that no man is all of one thing—there is “good” and “bad” in everyone—what came up for me was the need to “justify” my father’s horrid behavior. That old victim energy bubbled up. We were the wronged ones, damn it. How dare they say our pain was not real or justified? I felt the need to defend my victim status.

But did I really want to dig my heels in around these challenging experiences? Did I really want to grab hold of them and grip them tight as my “story?” Was this not an opportunity to clean up old energy that had been hiding out under the rug?

I let myself feel these intense emotions with the intention of shifting my perspective.

There was a lot of relief in allowing myself to grieve and rail and condemn. But I was also revisiting some very dark spaces. Part of me was afraid I might get stuck there in that painful place.

But I am no longer the same person I was. I have too much experience moving through my shadow spaces. Not shining the light on them and recognizing that there is dirt there that needs to be cleaned is what prolongs pain.

So I reached out for support to my husband, friends, and family. I leaned into the emotions that were coming up, and recognized that the pain I was feeling was guidance from my Higher Self letting me know I was not thinking about this situation correctly.

Source only sees with the eyes of love. The pain I was feeling was because I was shutting that love off pretty darn effectively.

I began to remind myself of what this situation and my father had looked like through the lens of love I had donned earlier. I tried to look through the lens of love that this other person had for him.

About 3 a.m. this morning, the dog woke me up, and these thoughts flooded back into my consciousness. I began to envision a magnificent room in my heart and someone coming in and pulling the curtains back so that sunlight streamed in. Part of me wanted to hide under the covers and wail and bemoan the nightmare I had experienced. But this loving and kind helper told me it was just that, a nightmare. It would stop as soon as I opened my eyes and got up.

And so I did. In my mind, I walked through these magnificent rooms that were dusty from disuse. I could see some piles of dirt in places. So I pulled out a rag that was soaked in a cleaning solution that was pure positive love. And I began to clean and polish.

As I worked, positive memories of my father returned. I had been putting so much attention on the negative haunts that I had forgotten that there had been any good or fun times. I began to remember again that no man is all dark or all light. We each have some of each within us. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves and adores the man that was my father.

I could feel my energy shift.

There may be more for me to clean up, but I no longer feel the need to defend the awful memories I have. I have loosened my grip on them. They are no longer part of my current reality. The only one bringing them forward as relevant is me. I can allow the memories of those who loved him to remain intact, and not feel that I am somehow belittled by doing so.

If God loves my father, than that’s what I want to do, too.

When I got up this morning, I felt lighter and restabilized. I felt reconnected to the love of All-That-Is. I remembered my own well-being, which will add to my ultimate wellness.

I did not find the love in my heart for my father. I choose love because it was me that was suffering. It was me who had the key to the prison I created. Aligning with the love of All-That-Is sets me free.

It will set you free, too.

Together we can do it!

banner4This is it! This is my last blog post here! Please follow my new blog at LoveYourWaySlim.com to keep reading. Thank you for all your support here at Goss Coaching. I so appreciate each of you fabulous readers. Much love and blessings to you!

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Look for an Excuse to Workout

I had my first post-surgery appointment with the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that I am recovering remarkably well. He gave me permission to slowly go back to my regular workouts, and assured me that my body will let me know if I am doing too much.

It’s gratifying to me that I have missed my workouts for the past two weeks, and am looking forward to getting back to them.

In the past when life got stressful, the first thing to go would be my energy for workouts. That would be closely tied with my eating for comfort rather than wellness. Pretty quickly, even the idea of working out would be emotionally and physically draining. This would often be the beginning of my wellness spinning out of control, resulting in my regaining the weight I had recently lost—and then some.

The first time I really saw this change was in the summer of 2010 when my husband was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was an incredibly scary time when my vibrant and active husband suddenly became so pain-ridden he couldn’t get out of bed without assistance. It was several weeks before we got a diagnosis, and several more before treatment gave him some pain relief.

Instead of using that incredibly stressful time as an excuse to stop my personal care, if anything it motivated me to take care of myself even more because I knew if I wasn’t feeling good, I wouldn’t be able to take care of David. The best way I could help him, was to take care of myself.

That doesn’t mean it was easy. There were days I had to make myself go workout, even if it was for 10 minutes. Fortunately, getting started was often the hardest part and once I did my 10 minutes, I usually was able to keep going and get in my full workout.

And I reached out for a lot of support. Not only were my friends and family incredible during this time, but I also leaned on the transformation.com community—a free on-line support site focused on physical, mental, and emotional fitness. (I still participate in the Fabulous Friends accountability group, and would love to have you join us if you are looking for support in meeting your wellness goals.)

As a result, I not only survived this extremely stressful situation, but I thrived and used that time as an opportunity to move towards who I am truly meant to be.

This time, it was me who was facing the medical challenge—fortunately a much-less serious one than my husband continues to face with remarkable aplomb. In addition, because it was happening to me, I found it much easier because I was more in control and could tap into my inner confidence in my personal wellness and wellbeing. It was easier to be focused on what I could do to speed my recovery—following the doctor’s orders to take it easy, and getting in four walks a day and drinking lots of water. I also know the benefit of eating healthy foods and the impact that has on how I feel.

I also have the personal experience that exercise relieves stress, and now I use stress as an excuse to workout rather than a reason to avoid it.

While it may feel like the very last thing you want to do, focus on the stress-relieving benefits of exercise and how much better you’ll feel afterwards. And when you do the workout and are in that better-feeling place, notice it, focus on it, and celebrate it so that you can remember it the next time you are trying to convince yourself to go workout.

Figure out the minimum that you can do that will make you feel like you’re making progress. Even a walk around the block has benefits and will help clear your mind, and it’s a lot easier to convince yourself to at least get that walk in. And if you really can’t motivate yourself to get a workout in today, forgive yourself and focus on doing what you can do to take care of you, even if it’s putting away the bag of potato chips, or saying “No” to the cookies.

The results will be worth it.

Together we can do it!

 

Photo by Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net