Tag Archives: trust

Hard or Soft? The Choice is Ours

When TRUST has been broken, how do we avoid becoming hard and bitter?

I came face to face with this question this week as I suffered a disappointment regarding a new friendship.

Full disclosure, my friend was equally disappointed in me.

Two sides, neither willing to yield.

My stubbornness? Born of a newfound desire to not abdicate what I deem precious to make others’ comfortable.  To value my soul enough to give it voice and not dismiss my feelings is THE point of my current journey.

Perhaps as I find the balance and rhythm of my new life, I will be more willing to yield, but for now, it is critical that I not.

Here’s why: Because I know that in yielding that first important thing  can come a slippery slope of acquiescence; the path to losing myself again.

I refuse to.

And in my friend’s unwillingness to give my refusal space, there came a parting of the ways.

Here’s the kicker:  I have written about my carefulness to engage in new friendships.  When you have quality, beautiful people already in your life and you’re not needy, you have the luxury of being more discriminating about those whom you choose to spend time.

This person had checked off all the boxes that were important to me:  Depth, kindness, spirituality, humor, self-awareness…and I let them in.

Then, the great impasse.  The argument with no resolve.  The parting of the ways.

One side of me says, “Why even bother?  Who NEEDS this?!”

The other side knows that in each encounter are lessons to be learned.

That in the decision to “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin'” comes the promise of disappointment,  hope, pain, joy – the entire kaleidoscope of feelings.

I’d rather live and feel…even if the feelings are sad for a season.

So back to the question, “How do you avoid becoming HARD?”

The freshness of the disappointment was wrapped in a sense of innocence lost.  Could I ever be so willing and open with someone new?  Had I lost my capacity to try again? Would I become hard – or stay soft?

The answer sank into my heart and was a soothing balm to my soul:

“You stay soft when you put your trust in God, not in people.”

If I put my trust in people, I will always be disappointed.  Because they are human!  They are as flawed as I am.  But to accept that the Universe is unfolding exactly as it ought; that some relationships are just for a season and that there are rich lessons to be gleaned from each one?  That comforts  me enough to put myself out there again.  And again.

Then I hear the words to Kesha’s song “Rainbow”: “What’s left of my heart’s still made of gold…”

But in the dark, I realized this life is short
And deep down, I’m still a child
Playful eyes, wide and wild
I can’t lose hope, what’s left of my heart’s still made of gold

You’ll find a rainbow, rainbow, baby
Trust me, I know life is scary
But just put those colors on, girl
Come and play along with me tonight
You gotta learn to let go, put the past behind you
Trust me, I know, the ghosts will try to find you
But just put those colors on, girl
Come and paint the world with me tonight.

You can hear it here:

The rainbow was God’s promise that he would never send another flood that would destroy the world.  Yes, there are floods…but they will not destroy you.

Keep living, my friends.  Take the hits – and stay soft.  What’s left of your heart’s still made of gold.

And now, my video take on the word TRUST and a new Word of the Week:

https://youtu.be/JrN1kMJoUns

Hmmmm….Sister/Brotherhood was a call to stop being lone rangers in life.  And now SUPPORT?

When we feel overwhelmed this week, let’s continue to reach out and get the support we need.  (Or, when we see a need, let’s jump in and be a support!)

Have a beautiful week –

Brenda

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Trust a Gossip (but Trust the New WOW)

I read a great quote about TRUST this week and, considering my entirely new life and a whole new set of people in my world, it struck a chord:

I really don’t want to be anyone’s topic of conversation, so I am careful to not enter into conversations about OPB (Other Peoples’ Business).

When someone casually slips in a slight dig about a mutual acquaintance, it’s a red warning light for me.

Good people are too busy living their own lives to passively aggressively slander a third party who is not there to defend themselves.

And seriously, can we just focus on the motes in our OWN eyes?

Here’s a great place to be: I’m not needy.

I’ve got awesome, deep, loyal friends that would take a bullet for me.  I am rich with relationships and don’t crave any new ones.

Yes, I am open to making new friends.

But I don’t need them.

Doesn’t that sound a bit cold?

I think it sounds smart.

I do love my new community, don’t get me wrong. It’s a vibrant place with incredibly interesting, accomplished, funny and outgoing people.  Some may actually end up taking up space in my heart…one day.

But for now, my heart remains guarded – and that is a good thing.

When I was a silly, insecure girl, I wanted everyone to like me. In desperately seeking acceptance, I let down my guard and made excuses for bad behavior.  The bad behavior I observed ended up biting me on the #$@.  Not right away, but eventually.

Now – and this is SO liberating – I don’t care if you like me.

Because I like me.

And I like me enough to protect myself like I would any person of value.

Trust is earned. Friendship is sacred. And I’m not setting sail on this new life to anchor myself to negative people.

Do you remember the song, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead?  If you have any connection to the Philadelphia area, it was THE song in the 70’s.

It came on the R & B station this week and I immediately began shimmying (as I drove; it was quite entertaining for the car next to me at the stop light.)  I always knew the chorus, but some of the verses struck me as just brilliant:

There’s been so many things that’s held us down
But now it looks like things are finally comin’ around
I know we’ve got, a long long way to go
And where we’ll end up, I don’t know

But we won’t let nothin’ hold us back
We’re putting our selves together
We’re polishing up our act!
If you felt we’ve been held down before

I know you’ll refuse to be held down anymore!
Don’t you let nothing, nothing
Stand in your way!
I want ya’ll to listen, listen

To every word I say, every word I say!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’re on the move!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!

We’ve got the groove!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’re on the move!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!

We’ve got the groove!
I know you know someone that has a negative vow
And if you’re trying to make it they only push you aside
They really don’t have, no where to go

Ask them where they’re going, they don’t know
But we won’t let nothin’ hold us back
We’re gonna put our selves together
We’re gonna polish up our act!

Are you singing?  If not, click here and make yourself declare it.

I refuse to be held down any more – and that involves exercising discretion about who I trust and let into my circle.

If you feel “held down” – maybe it’s time to make a break with bad vibe people.

And love yourself enough to surround yourself with quality people who have earned your trust.

More on that and the new WOW!

I think a great way to approach the word WILLINGNESS is to ask ourselves, what are we NOT willing to consider?

And why?

I’m learning not to stay stuck on what I’ve always thought just because it’s what I’ve always thought!

Because maybe (sharp intake of breath) – I was wrong!

Willing hearts open doors.  May many open for you this week!

Love,
Brenda

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Strength in Weakness (and the New WOW)

My week could have been spelled WEAK – and how ironic when the WOW was STRENGTH!

Here’s the backstory:  Three weeks ago I started to have seriously bloodshot, irritated eyes that were increasingly painful to blink, impossible to place contacts in, and most upsetting to my propensity for vanity, painful to apply makeup to.

If you review LAST week’s WOW taping, you can see watery eyes (in part ’cause I was a wee bit emotional, bur primarily due to my eye affliction.)

When you don’t have to show up to an office every day, the need to look good is diminished, but an impending Viola family wedding finally gave me the urgent push to go to the eye doctor.

Dr. Sinclair said, “How have you been functioning like this?”

He had no immediate answers but got me an ASAP appointment with a specialist and charged me with this assignment: “Between now and tomorrow, try and figure out what you’ve done differently that could have affected your eyes.”

I wracked my brain. No new makeup; no new creams or potions. No new food (except for my new ‘clean eating’ and geeez, what could THAT do that would be bad?)

I was getting really upset about this unknown malady, and feeling weaker by the moment.

Then, as I was getting ready for bed and took my evening low-dose aspirin, it hit me:  Three weeks ago my regular doctor switched one of my medications.

I was so busy thinking about a topical cause I never considered an internal one.

(Hmmmm.  That’s an interesting thought for another time!)

Thanks to Google, within minutes the rare side affects of said medication jumped out on my iPad: “Can cause severe eye distress in rare cases. If you experience blurriness, redness, and irritation – what the heck are you waiting for? Get to a doctor!” (OK, I added that last part.)

What relief to finally KNOW.  And suddenly, even though my pain and circumstance had not changed, the removal of the mystery gave me STRENGTH.

Now that I know what I’m dealing with, I can beat it.

Some of you are facing physical challenges and have been for much longer than three weeks.  My brief experience with a chronic, seemingly unsolvable pain was physically, mentally and spiritually distressing – so my heart truly goes out to you.

Don’t give up.

If you’ve been trying to slug it out by yourself, seek help.  And if that help doesn’t help, seek some more.  Seek wisdom and insight.  Pray for the answer and I am believing with you that it will come.

learning-is-a-gift

I would prefer that joy, delight, blessings and abundance are my teachers. But when pain  – whether physical or emotional – comes, for goodness sake, I want to get SOMETHING good out of it. And I expect to – because I don’t believe God, the Universe, the Source is playing cruel games with my life.

And believing that is also a source of strength.

So how do we follow this up?  Settle in for the new WOW:

There is a connection between STRENGTH and SURRENDER, isn’t there?

I know I get worn out and WEAK when I try too hard to make stuff happen or freak out about what is beyond my control.

The beauty of trust is that it allows you to let go…and let God.

And therein lies great strength.  “In quietness and confidence will be your strength” says Isaiah 30:15.

Love to you all!
xoxoxox

Brenda

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Rest In Peace is Not Just for Dead People (& the New WOW)

Do you find yourself walking on eggshells to keep the peace?

Or maybe you’re more inclined to smash someone over the head with a frying pan?

We all have our own unique ways of dealing with internal and external turmoil. My methods change depending on the time of the month, the moon and tides, and whether I’m hungry or tired.

Should the target or source of the turmoil choose to foolishly point OUT that perhaps my demeanor is related to said time of the month, the tension rises exponentially.

Moving on from the “time of the month” to this time of the year…

In these highly charged political times, half of the country has promised to leave if one candidate wins.

The other half will leave if the OTHER wins.

My bet is that no one will really leave.  But the acrimony and the vitriol will likely continue because there will always be some people who think if they talk more and louder, they’ll change someone else’s mind.

I’ve observed that people rarely change their mind when they’re being yelled at.

When I was a teenager, being told I was wrong only made me dig my Candie pumps in deeper just to prove them wrong.

*sigh*

No one knows who I am voting for, and I plan on keeping it that way.  Not because I’m afraid of a good, spirited discourse – but because I love harmony.

I totally respect your opinion!  What I don’t like (or respect) is that so often opinions are offered in crass or insulting manners. On both sides!

As we end our week focusing on harmony, I loved finding this:

Rest in peace

Thus the offbeat subject line for today’s e-mail.  How sad to wait until we’re dead to rest in peace!

I know, sometimes life really is upsetting.  But maybe this week’s WOW will help:

Yes, construction zones are MESSY. But keeping the vision of the end goal in sight can fuel your engine.

Trusting that you’ll get there will help you get through.

My face will stop flaking, too.

oxoxoxox

Brenda

 

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Broken Things, Mess-Ups and the Word of the Week

It was a week of lessens learned from broken things and mess ups.

My dear friend Cynthia had mentioned a quote that meant a great deal to her months ago, and I asked my sister, Shirlee, to create it in calligraphy.  As is her practice, she went over the top and made a beautiful work of art with these words:

“She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.”

I searched for the perfect frame to send it to Cynthia; it wasn’t a Christmas present, just an “I love you gift” – but I was so excited to carefully package it, imagining how it would touch her heart.

It did.  She sent me the loveliest thank you message.

But didn’t tell me until weeks later that it arrived smashed to smithereens.

She’s nice that way, knowing how excited I was to surprise her and knowing how disappointed I would have been that it didn’t show up in pristine shape.

But the rest of the story resonated with me as a lesson for the year’s end and new one to begin.

Cynthia went in search of a new frame to replace the broken one, and stumbled serendipitously upon a shadow-box with sparkly accents and room for the feather on the piece to truly show.  When she sent me the photo I could see:

It was meant to be.

IMG_3726It wasn’t what I intended or envisioned, but it ended up exactly as it should have been.

So I filed that away in my “Hmmmmm….” drawer and ran smack into a professional dilemma.

I marketing brochure I had instructed the designer to set up a certain way went to press and was instead COMPLETELY different dimensions than I had instructed.

I kvetched, moaned, grumbled and had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, knowing that the larger size meant a bigger price tag – one that was over the approved budget.

It was Christmas eve, but I had to talk to my boss and get it over with.

His response?

I think it was meant to be a bigger size.

Meant to be.

There were those words again.

I am a perfectionist in many ways, and hopefully not annoying ones.  I am gleeful when it comes to nailing the details of work and creativity.  I love to envision a task and carry it out as planned, making it come to life!

Sometimes, despite my best efforts, it ends up something entirely different.

And I think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me (and it turned out to rhyme):

When I have done all that I can, there may be more that’s not my plan.  Perhaps a fail is the only way to make entrance for the Divine’s part to play.  In that truth I can rest and know not to fret at the unplanned turn in the road. Not every outcome is up to me…

Sometimes some things are meant to be.

There have been much harder fails and breaks in my life than a frame or a work project. But when I look back over my shoulder, they all worked out as they were meant to.

My friend Renee has taught me many things, including Yiddish words!  And the one that describes the lesson learned this week is:  Bashert.  It means “meant to be” or “destiny.”

So while my take on the “Question Mark” word of last week was that “I am the CEO of my own life and the heroine of my own novel” (which I do believe is true), it was balanced by this life lesson that it’s not ALL on my shoulders.

There is a Power at work, greater than I, who can work all things together for good, fix my fails, improve upon my best laid plans and give me the peace of “bashert.”

Which is a perfect prelude to our new WOW to end 2015 and begin 2016:

When you think of your own healing, know that the broken things and mess ups can, in time, look like beautiful detours on the path to what is meant to be.

Much love to you, and thank you for taking these journeys with me in 2015…

xoxoxo

Brenda

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WOW (Word of the Week) for 10.4.15

For some of you, things you have been banging your head against the wall about finally broke through.

For others, what seemed impossibly overwhelming just a week ago is now in the “done” pile of your “to do” list.

And my friend’s chance meeting on the beach led to a coffee date and the start of a new friendship.

SYNTHESIS was a WOW that required my trust and faith that “it was all going to work out – and work out for GOOD.”

Sometimes you just don’t know the end from the beginning, but when you look back over your shoulder, how many times have things “come together” just when you needed them to?

Synthesis for some of you (you know who you are) was a thrilling WOW.  For me, the thrills had their share of chills, and as you can tell from this week’s video, I was READY to get off of the rollercoaster.  Not that I’m not grateful for the lessons learned, mind you.  Just ready to move on.

How about you?  OK, here we go!

Ooooooh!  I am really excited about this.  Taking it to heart, I’m starting right now to write out and put sticky notes in front of my face (pictures, too) of what I envision for my life.

Why not grab a cup of coffee and spend some time dreaming and visioning about your own future?  What a cool way to spend some time – and to start creating the life of your dreams!  Oh, and don’t listen to that little voice that wants to talk you out of it.

It’s a liar.

It’s never too late to start your happily ever after.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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