Weightlessness

The feeling of weightlessness that followed sharing my sad truth through my personal blog, http://justwheat.wordpress.com, is unbelievable. I had no idea it had such a strong grip on me. It’s like an invisible but impenetrable barrier lay between me and everything whole and good–complete joy, peace, love, and freedom.

Those just seem like words until you’ve lost them.

I know what they mean, and I know how they feel again.

For this, I’m grateful.

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Let love

I’m grateful for my friend, singer/songwriter/musician Oona Love, for agreeing to serve as our guest writer today.
I have been struggling to write this blog post for the past few days. To concisely say everything I thought I wanted to say seemed like a large undertaking, but today in reflection of the events in my own life over the past few weeks, it seems simple. The same things I talk about daily are the things which I feel need to be shared here.
A few weeks ago, I was standing at the fish counter in a market, waiting for someone to help me. It was a Sunday afternoon, and after a while, I thought maybe no one worked the fish counter on Sunday afternoons, and maybe I couldn’t buy that crab that was on sale. I stood up on the red railing that was on the floor so I could lean over the counter and made a cute “ding-ding” noise. Still no one came. I looked to my friend who was shopping me with and shrugged. Just as we were about to give up on the entire idea of crab, a woman came from behind the double doors. She was sobbing, weeping as if someone had just died. I looked at her, the crab completely forgotten and asked her if she needed a hug. I walked behind the counter and held her while she cried. I assured her that all would be well and tried to comfort her. I still don’t know why she was that upset, but within a few minutes, she was calm, smiling, and I not only had my crab, but also had an amazing feeling of joy for being able to comfort someone.
In my life playing music for a living, I am blessed to meet so many people. It is joyous to be a part of the tapestries of so many peoples’ lives. At times, it can be heart breaking and challenging, too. There is an epidemic of suffering in our world. Suffering, I believe, we can only overcome if we all learn to love truly and fully and if we learn to lead lives based on love.
There is a wonderful concept called the universal consciousness. You can see it in birds as they fly. If one changes direction, so do the rest. Look up next time you see a flock of birds, and watch, it really is amazing. I think this kind of consciousness exists in us, too. Every thought we have have, every action, every word- they all affect the world in which we live. So, if we are able to let go of our hurt, our anger, our pain and live with love in our hearts, speak with love, and act with love, we could change the course of our collective world. A lot of people think this is just silly “hippie” talk. Believe me, I have heard it all, and yes, I have been known to wear patchouli and at this very moment, I am wearing a purple tie dyed skirt, but that should not really matter. The concept, I think, is valid.
It is the driving course of my life. No matter the pain or hurt I have endured, I made a conscious decision about fifteen years ago that I would try to live a life full of love and joy. I am not always successful. I am a big crier, and often I try to carry the weight of everyone in my life–another lesson I am desperately trying to learn in my life, but I am far too stubborn to accept. Love is, in its essence, the only thing we have in this world.
So many times I have been told I do not live in reality, and I tire of hearing it. I tire of hearing the argument that one cannot live on love alone. These are pessimistic ideas, and they do not embrace love. Love, like God, or Goddess, or Universe, or Dog is the only thing that can truly feed our souls. It doesn’t matter what you call it. Trusting in love, giving yourself to love will indeed provide. Love has no boundaries. It opens the body, soul, heart and mind to all kinds of experiences and opportunities. They key is being open to them. We have to embrace LOVE as a way of living.
The place where this begins is the hardest. It is a struggle for everyone I know who is on this path. It begins with loving ourselves. We cannot give love without loving ourselves, too. If you have ever been in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love her or himself, or if you have not loved yourself, you will understand this. I am not talking about ego. I am talking about allowing yourself to be imperfect, loving, and accepting of who you are, the gifts you were given, and the soul you have. Be perfectly imperfect. Embrace yourself. Know that there are times when you will fail, not only in life endeavors, but also in living a life of love.
We are raised to be such judgmental creatures. We judge each other, and we judge ourselves. To let go and let love puts an end to that cycle of abuse. If we can all embrace one another with love in our hearts and minds, we lose the judgment, we lose anger, we lose hurt, we lose envy. We become authentic souls walking on this earth sharing in the human experience.
So, that’s my blog. This is my gratitude for living and sharing my life with so many people. I attempt to live each moment with love as the guiding force. I try, every day, to share love and give love to those who need it.

Oona Love
Singer/Songwriter/Gypsy Musician
On the Web:
www.oonalove.com
www.facebook.com/oonalovemusic
www.myspace.com/oonalove
www.reverbnation.com/oonalove
oonalove@yahoo.com
Management:
Holli Tucker, hbt3842@hotmail.com or booking.oonalove@gmail.com
(423) 404 5272
(423) 404 5671

I’m incredibly grateful for the freedom to share my story in hopes that it will help others, and for my friend who did the same.

Just wheat

“Silence is often the loudest voice.”

It’s one of my favorite quotes, and it applies to so many situations.

But not this one.

For 16 years, I’ve kept my mouth shut, barely whispering out of the corners of it to a few trusted people.

The first time I had sex, when I was 16 years old, I was raped by a trusted friend of the family.

The aftermath that ensued was much more damaging and painful than the experience itself. Since that day, I’ve suffered from shock, guilt, stress, and grief. I’ve watched, almost as a spectator, as the internalization of the trauma spilled out of me quietly, poisoning relationships, killing my joy, and ravishing my mind.

Of course, this was Satan’s intent. He’s been a pretty happy camper the last 16 years, I’m sure.

Recently, I started processing the event therapeutically as a 32 year-old woman and examined my…

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A big day

Today will be a very big day for me.

In a little while, I’m going to share one of the most painful, personal moments of my life with anyone who’s interested in hearing about it via my personal blog. I have the oddest feeling this morning–it feels like fear mixed with courage.

Despite the actual experience and pain involved in the aftermath, and in spite of my fear of the unknown consequences of opening myself up to the world, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share. I’m grateful for a friend who shared his story with me last week and prompted me to share my own. I’m grateful for the intricate, winding, uphill road that led me to today, fingers positioned on my keyboard, calm and ready to say what needs to be said.

I’m grateful God is the ultimate orchestrator of all of this, and I’m grateful that I’ve stepped down from my throne enough to recognize Him for Who He Is.

I feel like God’s whispering to me, “Now watch what I’m going to do with this. I told you, I’m making everything new.”

I’m watching.

 

 

I am making everything new.

Today I’m grateful for spring. The daffodils have risen up out of the cold, brown mulch. We can barely keep the bird feeder full. Most of the trees along our trails in the woods are now covered with tiny, closed buds.

And I’m grateful for my heart, which God has renewed. Yes, He does that day after day. But I’m talking about a slow, painful winnowing of who I am to reveal the real Bethany underneath.

“Behold, I am making everything new.”  Revelations 21:5

   

 

 

 

Tony Robbins

Thanks again to Henry Petty for being a regular guest writer on the Daily Dose of Gratitude blog!

I was watching one of my favorite life coaches, Tony Robbins, being featured on Oprah’s “Mastery” classes on the OWN network.  Robbins is someone I’ve followed, read heavily his books, and listened to his tapes for the past decade.  This gave me inspiration about today’s piece on gratitude.

While antiquing at the Goodwill, I happened upon the entire tape set to “Personal Power II” for a whopping $4.00.  Although the tapes were put out in the early 90’s, I am taking away a lot from them that apply to dealing with today’s life obstacles.  I’m also grateful that I never upgraded the tape deck in my 99 Chevy Lumina.

Robbins teaches to truly be successful is to be grateful for what you have.  To achieve true gratitude, help someone else out who has it worse than you.  This will give you a true understanding of how great you have it!

Unfortunately, the previous owner of the tapes didn’t take advantage of them.  I discovered nearly 1/3 of the tapes still had their factory seal on them and had never been opened.  Daily, we are given gifts and advice, but we squander it by never taking advantage of those.  We aren’t grateful for those gifts.

What gifts of advice have you received that you have failed to show gratitude for by not applying them or utilizing them?  Will they, along with those workout DVDs you bought in January, end up in a future yard sale?  Or will you truly show your gratitude and use them for their original purpose – to help you?


For more of Henry’s musings, check out http://youtube.com/henryblazer20

 

Ashes to ashes

Special thanks to Henry Petty for contributing as today’s guest writer.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, honoring the first day of Lent.  This is a time when Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before the beginning of His ministry, and is a time of prayer and fasting, all culminating at Easter.  Traditionally, people will give up something they love, like social networking, coffee, video games, and background noise.

During the ceremony at Church, I go up to the priest, who then places ashes on my forehead in a symbol of the cross.  He utters these words as he does this:

“Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.” (Genesis 3:19)

Regardless of your faith, or lack thereof, I believe everyone can get something from this.  To me, it’s a humbling experience, reminding me of my transgressions as well as how fragile life is, and to not take it for granted, because I’ll eventually return to “dust”.

I am truly grateful for the life I’ve been given, and know that tomorrow is not a guarantee.  In the movie “Fight Club”, one of the characters’ lives is spared.  The Brad Pitt character tells his sidekick, ”That man’s breakfast tomorrow will taste better than anything we will have ever tasted in our lifetime.”

To follow Henry’s vlog, visit http://youtube.com/henryblazer20