The Gift Of Self Love

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a poem about what I would do for love. In that poem, I explored what I would do for romantic love, love that happens between me and a man ❤️ Recently I was thinking about what I did for love of myself and how my life changed because I started showing myself the same affection I always showed others.

I am a sensitive soul and I mean that on many levels. My feelings, especially for people, run very deep. The deeper the connection the more sensitive I am to them and their needs and feelings. This has been a blessing and a curse my entire life. It’s a blessing in that it gives me the ability to read people & know their true intentions. It’s a blessing in that I am profoundly compassionate. It’s a blessing in that I’m highly Empathetic. I can tune into people and relate to them without them really needing to put their needs into words. As a young girl, my sensitive empathetic capabilities were confusing. These capabilities actually caused a lot of pain and depression when I was young. The curse of being a “feeler” and not really understanding it was profound in my life. I had no control over what I was feeling. It was all so intense. I had no idea what was happening to me me most of the time. I see now a lot of what I was experiencing was not actually my own experience but it was the pain and confusion of those who surrounded me. Hard to explain to people that you are feeling their pain even harder to live with especially as a child. In recent years, I’ve learned how to block things out and tune things out for my own self protection. And, let’s face it. Some people are just drama queens and others are overly emotional. I tune them out as much as possible👍

In retrospect, I see clearly my biggest issue for most of my life was that I had weak boundaries with people. While I always had a strong sense of self and an independent spirit, I also put the needs, wants and desires of others before my own. I hated that I was different from my peers and I often dumbed myself down and adjusted my life to fit in with the crowd more. Every day a little of my authentic self slipped away. I almost didn’t know my own voice because so many people had say in my life and continuously crossed my boundaries.

Over the years I had my share of health problems. The source of most of my health issues was that I didn’t value myself. Therefore, I did not take care of myself the same way I took care of others. As I started to see things clearly in my life, I started learning how to nurture myself and care for myself. As I started loving myself and trusting my instincts, my emotional, physical and mental health improved. All it took was self love and affection.

Time was the gift I selfishly gave myself. Distance from negative relationships was the only way I could start to hear my own voice again. Having the courage to give up all that I knew for something that held no guarantees was the ultimate gut-check for me. I walked away from people, a lifestyle, a social life and an action-packed social calendar. But I also walked away from bad habits, an unhealthy body and a broken spirit. I left it all behind. September 15th was the third year anniversary of the day I started walking away from people & an unhealthy relationship. November 25th will be the third year anniversary of the day I chose health over being a party girl. On that day I stopped drinking alcohol, I quit smoking, I started eating healthy and I started living a life that I am now proud of living.

I am not going to say the last three years have been easy. The first year was especially challenging because I was still struggling with unresolved feelings and I had hard time letting go. The second year things started to shift and became easier. Stability returned to my life. I let go of the people from my past. My emotional well-being healed as my body got stronger. But, I really started hitting my stride in the third year. Year Three has been full of the fruit of my labor. My mind and body are relaxed. I’ve enjoyed good health. I hear my own voice clearly. I am able to maintain and enforce boundaries in all situations. My sensitive/empathetic capabilities have become sharper and I am able to control them. In year three my heart cracked open to love and its complexities without fear or hesitation because I see true goodness looking back at me. The most important gift I was given in year three has been the power of discernment. I intuitively know what and who is good for me. I sense it. I feel it. I know it. It is the true fruit of the labor of self love.

Today I am clear about who I am and what I want from life. I am clear who I want in my life. I have absolute clarity within my own soul. This type of self knowledge has been the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I see now that I have a peaceful soul. I don’t want or need the distractions of the party lifestyle. I need peace. I finally saw that I was deserving of more than I was accepting.

Today I am taking care of myself by simmering a pot of Chicken Bone Broth all day. Bone Broths that are cooked for a long time have many nutrients and health benefits. I’m snuggled on the sofa with a blanket, a pillow and plenty of books to read on my iPad Kindle App. I’m writing, reading and just enjoying the peace I finally have in my life. Today I’m loving myself the same way I love others.

Take some time to dial the noise down in your life. Tune into the natural rhythms of your own heart. Explore the caves of your soul and love yourself as much as you love others.

(C) 2014 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Photo Credit
“Visible Darkness”
Pat Erickson

Retrieved From
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/visible-darkness-pat-erickson.html

Seven Ravens (Long post)

 

March 31, 2014 – I took some online quiz to find out what my Spirit Animal was this morning while I was laying in bed at 4:30am.  It said I was a Raven.  The description said, “In some mythologies, the Raven represents the Creator. It is a dark, mysterious, and highly intelligent animal. Like the Raven, your soul is filled with creative energy. You will make something that others will be in awe of…”.

It reminded me of the the “Seven Ravens” poem I wrote a couple years ago and it also reminded of the post I wrote last year at a time of reflection.  The last three years of my life have been nothing short of unbelievable. These three years of my life were filled with complete honesty and authenticity. I stripped everything away and truly saw myself.  I learned to love everything I saw in myself even the things that aren’t pretty. I survived, overcame and blossomed in spite of opposition, naysayers and negative forces.  I rode out the highs and lows. I made changes and choices. I found the courage to let go of anything and anyone who held me back, wasn’t good for me, spoke negatively about me, didn’t wish me well and wasn’t healthy for me in body and spirit. None of it was easy. But, I did it.  I choose it every day. If I could chose between my life ten years ago and my life today, I choose today.

I am grateful that God gave me the choice.  Many in life do not get choices. I got them and I feel I took responsibility and owned my life and my actions.  I grateful that I am not afraid to show my vulnerability on this blog or to the people I care about.  I recognize a good soul when I see one and to them I will show all of me. I will NOT hold back or hide from those who I know belong in my life. I live in gratitude everyday for the life I am living now.  It didn’t happen by chance. It happened by choice. 

I choose today!
___________________________

May 1, 2013 – I originally wrote the poem, Seven Ravens, in October 2o11.  At that time, I was sick, I was depressed and I was overwhelmed. And, a relationship abruptly ended after a horrible incident. It almost broke me that it all was happening at the same time. Sensing that the only way I was going to survive the storm my life was in was to relax in to it and just let go. I felt like if I didn’t stop resisting everything or if I kept trying to hold on, then I was truly was going to die.  I tried to do it my way. I tried to force my path. But, nothing was working.  I was filled with anxiety.  But, I was so afraid to let go of everything I knew. I was so afraid to change. I was afraid I would lose my friendships and my social life. I didn’t think I was strong enough to do what life was calling me to do. I was ready to give up rather than change.

Everywhere I went I was receiving little messages of comfort and reassurance from unusual places.  People out of the blue telling me it was going to be ok. Phone calls from people I lost contact with saying they had dreams about me. And, I was having recurring dreams of my decease sister and father holding my hand.  Talk about spiritual experiences!  

On one particular day I was exceptionally anxious. When I am feeling anxious I chant and visualize my lucky number seven. While doing this, I take deep breaths. This practice seems to work like magic at calming me down and returning me to peace. So, one day after I was chanting and visualizing the number seven I logged into Facebook. I started reading status updates and then I saw “Seven, a journey” posted on a friend’s status. It was so unbelievable that as I was chanting and visualizing the number seven to relieve anxiety as she posting the number seven as a journey.

I called her and told her about the synchronicity of our actions. She told me Seven Ravens landed on her window ledge at the same moment I was chanting and visualizing the number. Incredible! She told me about the Native American meaning of Seven Ravens. Seven Ravens is a Native American symbol of a journey. The Seven Ravens come to you to provide you direction and safe passage in your journey.  As the Ravens sat on her window ledge, she prayed. Then one by one she watched as each flew off carrying her prayers into the wind. She said the Ravens gave her great peace and comfort. They were a confirmation that the choices she has been making are good for her. And, now she knew for sure I was on the right path as well. In traditional Medicine cards, Ravens symbolize strength and healing.

That was 19 months ago.  If I only knew how my life would be changed. If I only knew how much healthier I would be. If I only knew my broken heart would mend. If I only knew I would find peace and happiness within my own soul. If I only knew those Seven Ravens were providing me a safe passage on this incredible journey. Would I have continued on knowing everything I would eventually change and give up? I don’t know. All I know is the friends that really mattered are still in my life even though I don’t go out drinking with them. They support me now in what I am doing. What I do know is that Yoga has been a refuge and safe haven for me and has provide me relief and sanity on some hard days. What I do know is that my world has opened up and new powerful spirits and come in and refreshed my spirit with hope. What I do know is that I am healed and back to living. I am changed forever and that was supposed to be my journey all along. I was jus too afraid and stubborn to give in. But, oh what magic happened once I finally let go…

To those seven beautiful ravens, thank you for providing me safe passage. I am eternally grateful.

Seven Ravens – Love, Sex & Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Did you hear that?
It was a voice
Gently calling your name
If I close my eyes
I can play its melody
In my mind
Calling to you
The sound calms my spirit
And nourishes my soul
Softly drifting
It carries me to sleep
The sound of your name
Carried by the wind
Nestled gingerly
On a leaf
Floating miles
To my window
As if to heal me
And bring My weary heart Peace
In its presence
I say your name
As low as a whisper
I place it carefully
On the backs of
seven ravens
And ask the ravens
To protect your journey
And to keep you safe from harm
They leave my window
And take flight
Saying your name
With a message of love
Seven Ravens journey
From me to you
They wait
to softly kiss
your ear
Preached on the ledge
They sit
with the melody
of my name
On their backs
to sing to you
Their song
Of love and peace
Seven Ravens
A journey
Follow the raven
© 2011 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Scanner
 

Photo Credit
Fine Art Print Grimm FairyTale Seven Ravens & Girl 8.3 x 11.7 inches
by: Christina Lank
Retrieved Fromhttp://www.etsy.com/listing/114107463/fine-art-print-grimm-fairytale-seven?ref=market

Peace In The Garden – Poetry

Peace In The Garden
By: Linda A. Long

Lying in the garden
Of peace
And tranquility
Rests my mind
Spent from needless
Worry
Exhausted from
Endless
Planning
Resolved
To shut off
And be ok
With nothingness
It’s ok
To be quiet
And spend time
In reflection
It’s ok
To lye
In a hammock
And daydream
Or just be
Silent in a
Moment of peace
Time doesn’t have
To be filled
With tasks
Life shouldn’t
Be measured
By checking
Off to do lists
It’s ok
To have peace
In the garden
Of your mind
Slow down
Slow it down
Hear the clock tick
But still enjoy
The silence
In your mind
Be in the middle
Of chaos
Without
Being controlled by it
Peacefully practice
The art of controlling
The mind
To warrior precision
Slow down
It’s not easy
Shut off the noise
It forces us
To see ourselves
And hear what
We don’t want
To know
See what we don’t
Want to see
Yet
Once it is heard
Once it is seen
We can make peace
With it
And move forward
Letting go
Of the power
It once had over us
Lye in the garden
With me
Find peace
And tranquility
In this very
Moment
When two souls
Intersection
In perfect harmony
© 2013 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Photo Credit
A Special Day | Irene Sheri, 1968

While I believe the painting is of a girl on her wedding day, I really chose the painting to go with this poem for the peacefulness in her face and the roses surrounding her. We all know I really love roses and the special significance and meaning roses have for me. I only wish I could have them in the house without sneezing all day and getting a headache! 🙂
Retreived from:

http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/ 

I Opened My Hand And Let Go – Daily Post Poetry Writing Challenge

I Opened My Hand And Let Go – Daily Post Poetry Writing Challenge
By: Linda A. Long

In opening
My hand
I let go
Of everything
I tried
To hold on to
Too tightly
Reminding myself
Where
I was
What
I overcame
Who
I am now
Changed
Forever
By the wave
That swept
Through my life
Innocently
It started
As a ripple
As one
Decision
Lead to another
And pulled
Me down
To the very
Bottom
Of my soul
To find
Authenticity
For the first time
Traveling down this
Rocky road
To peace
“Stop”
My mind
Shouted
“Go back”
My heart pounded
“This is too hard”
My body wept
“I can’t”
A small little voice
Deep within
Proclaimed
“I must”
Asserted
My soul
Not knowing
Exactly what
I was choosing
Only knowing
Life was forcing
Me to start over
I can’t remember
Consciously
Making the choice
I don’t remember
Saying
“Yes”
I can’t reflect
On the exact
Moment
It happened
It happened
Every day
With every
Choice
Letting go
One day
Holding on
The next
Having faith
Meaningful things
In my life
Will remain
Trusting what is
Rightfully mine
Will return
I opened
My hand
And let go
Finally
I see
The very best
Of me
For the
First time
I accept
I am powerful
Confidently
I stand
With tears
In my eyes
Because I
Finally
Set myself
Free
In knowing myself
I let go
By Trusting
Myself more
Than listening
To the advice
Of others
I finally found
My peace
Because
I let go
Of who
I was
And who
They wanted
Me to be
I timidly
Courageously
Started walking
My road
To peace
Through
The valley of
Of self-love
And
To the mountaintop
Of self-acceptance
I found
Happiness
Within
No longer
Needing
Validation or approval
From others
I pinned my
Happiness
To the beat of
My very own
Heart
Simply
Because
I opened
My hand
And let go
© 2013 Linda A. Long – All Rights ReservedProtected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Search

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/writing-challenge-starting-over/#more-12992

http://wewritepoems.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/prompt-138-its-post-your-poems-day/

January 1, 2013

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This is me with my typical extra large coffee. Although it’s decaf now it’s still coffee. The picture was taken today at the Polar Plunge. It reminded me that on January 1, 2012 I was 50lbs heavier. I’ve lost 80lbs all together which also reminded me of other things that happened in 2012:
-I stopped drinking alcohol.
-I went on Yoga Retreat for the first time at Kripalu.
-I Parasailed for the first time.
-I opened my heart, hung it out on a limb and I am surprisingly ok with that:-)
-I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
-I reversed Liver and Heart Diseases
-I committed to working out, health and fitness.
-I bought a new car.

I can see now 2012 was a year of growth and preparation. Almost as if God was preparing me for something bigger and better. I was letting go of everything that no longer served me including the extra weight.

13 is going to be my lucky number. 2013 is the year all good things will come to me. I welcome love into my heart, health into my body and wealth and abundance into my life.

Happy New Year!!!!
I wish you all Peace, Love and Happiness.