Peace with the past

By holding on to the past through guilt, longing, denial, and resentment, I discovered that I wasted time that could have been used to transform today and tomorrow. I used to feel guilty about things that had happened, things I had done or other people had done to me. Although I had made amends for most everything, the guilt ran deep. Everything became my fault, and I could never let it go. I was in denial about many things and held on to anger for weeks. Sometimes, I tried to forget my past, but I couldn’t stop and sort it. My past was like a fog that surrounded me, and I couldn’t shake it off. I think I was scared to let it go, afraid of today, afraid of tomorrow.

I’ve been recovering for weeks, and I’m learning I can’t forget the past. I need to heal from it. I need to feel and let go of any feelings I still have, especially anger. I had to start with stopping to blame myself for aching events that took place, and trust that everything had happened on schedule, and truly all is good. I’ve learned to stop regretting and to start being grateful. I’ve learned to see my past compassionately, trusting that God was in control, even then.

I’m still healing from some of the worst things that could happen to anyone. I’ve made peace with myself about these issues, and I’m able to see how those things helped form my character and developed finer points in my personality. We can’t control our past, but we can transform it by allowing ourselves to heal from it and by accepting it with love for ourselves and others.

Love,

Carmen Monica

 

Have Some Fun

Loosen up and enjoy life!

You don’t have to be somber and serious, reflective and critical, so bound up within yourselves and the constraints others or yourselves placed around you.

Life is not a funeral service. Have fun with life. Participate in it. Experiment. Take a risk. Be spontaneous. Do not always be concerned about doing the appropriate thing, or about doing it right. Do not always be worried about what others will think or say. What they think and say are their issues, not yours. Do not be afraid of making a mistake. Do not be so fearful and proper. Do not inhibit yourself so much.

You were created fully human. You were given emotions, desires, hopes, dreams, and feelings. There is an alive, excited, fun-loving child in you somewhere! Let it come out! Let it have some fun not for just a few hours on a Saturday night. Bring it with us, let it help us enjoy this gift of being alive, being fully human, and being who we are!

There are so many rules, so much shame you’ve lived with. It isn’t necessary. Don’t worry! You will learn your lessons when necessary. You will begin enjoying and experience your whole self and trust yourselves.

Have some fun! Loosen a bit. Break a few rules.

Much love,

Carmen Monica

One thing at a time

This is what we must do. We don’t have to do two things at once, but one thing done in peace. We should do one task at a time. We should experience one feeling at a time. We should live one day at a time. We must face one problem at a time. We should take one step at a time. We should feel one pleasure at a time.

To do one thing at a time, we must relax. We must let go of urgency and begin something new with calm. We should take one thing at a time and see how everything will work out.

We should remember that we are free to be who we are, to listen to and to trust . We are free to listen to the gentle, loving words whispered to and through each of us. Just remember that life happens one day at a time.

Love,

Carmen Monica

We can trust ourselves

Many of us are faced with the issues of whether we can trust another person again and if we can trust our judgment. Sometimes the slip-ups we have can cost us our sanity, and we can’t afford to make similar mistakes. Many of us have trusted people who deceived, abused and manipulated us because we trusted them. Perhaps, we have found these people charming, kind, even decent. But there was always a small voice saying “No, something is wrong.” Or maybe we have been comfortable trusting that person, and we were shocked when we found our instincts were wrong.

These issues may reverberate through our lives for years, shaking our trust in others. But what is worst is that our trust in ourselves has been shattered. How was it possible to feel so right and be such a total mistake? Then, you wonder how can you ever trust your selection process again when it showed itself to be so faulty?

Maybe we will never have the answers. But it is important to make “mistakes” to learn critical lessons that we wouldn’t have learned another way. We can’t let our past to interfere with our ability to trust ourselves. We can’t afford to live in distress. If we are taking wrong decisions in business or in love, we may never learn how to choose what’s right for us.

The most important thing we can do is to improve. To learn from our errors. Slowly, in increments, our relationships improve. Our business choices improve. Our decisions about how to handle certain situations with friends improve. We benefit from our mistakes. We benefit from our past. And even if we made mistakes, we had to make them in order to learn along the way.

Love,

Carmen Monica

 

 

Letting go of naivete

I learned that we can be loving, trusting people, and still not allow ourselves to be used or abused. We don’t have to let people do whatever they want to us. Not all their requests are legitimate because not all requests require a yes.

Life tests us, people seek out our weak spots. But if we have a weak spot in one area, we find ourselves repeatedly tested in that particular area by our family, friends, or co-workers. All these tests are trying to teach us something. When we learn that lesson, we’ll find that we are capable of setting boundaries. We own the power to say yes or no. There are moments when we may be angry with certain people, people who pushed our tolerance over the edge. And that is perfectly fine because soon enough we can let go of the anger and exchange it for gratitude.

Those people have been present to help us learn about what we don’t want, what we won’t tolerate, and how to own the power. We should thank them for what we have learned.

You should ask yourself how much are you willing to tolerate, how far should you let others go, how much anger and intuition should you discount? Where are your limits? Do you even have any? Because if you don’t have limits, you’re in big trouble.

There are times when you shouldn’t trust others, but instead, trust yourselves and set boundaries with those around you. You should forego your naïve assumption that the other person is right.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Relationships

I learned that there is a gift in every relationship coming our way. Sometimes, this gift is in the form of a behavior we’re learning to acquire, something like detachment, self-esteem, or becoming confident enough to set a boundary. Some of our relationships trigger healing from issues of the past or issues we face today. There are times when we find ourselves learning the most valuable lessons from the people we least expect to teach us. Relationships teach us about loving ourselves or someone else. Or maybe we learn to let others love us.

Sometimes, we aren’t certain about the lesson we’re learning if we are still in the middle of the process. But the learning and the gift are there, and we don’t have to control the process. We will understand when it’s time, and we can also trust that the gift is exactly what we need.

It is important to trust that you are a gift in other people’s lives and each person in our lives is a gift to us.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Accepting Love

How many of us have worked hard to make our relationships work? Sometimes they didn’t have a chance because the other person was absent. To compensate for the other person’s absence, we decided to work harder. In fact, we realized that we did the work. This situation will mask the reality for a while, but we usually get tired. Then, when we stop doing all the work, we notice there is no relationship, or we are so tired that we stop caring.

If we do all the work in a relationship, it is not loving, giving, or caring. It is called self-defeating because it forms the impression of a bond when in fact there may be none. It allows the other person to be irresponsible for his or her share. And because it doesn’t meet our needs, we feel victimized.

In our relationships, we all have temporary periods when one side participates more than the other. This is normal. But if it is a permanent way of engaging in a relationship, it will leave us feeling tired, worn out, needy, and angry. We can learn to contribute a reasonable amount, to let the relationship find its way to light.

Ask yourself if you do all the calling, the initiating, the giving. Are you the one talking about feelings and thirsting for intimacy? Are you doing all the waiting, the hoping, the work?

You can let go. If the relationship is meant to be, it will be, and it will become what it is intended to be. You can’t help the process by trying to control it. You do not help yourself, the other person, or the relationship by trying to force it or by doing all the work.

Let it be. Wait and see. Stop worrying about making it happen. See what happens and try to understand if it is what you want. Start the day by saying that you will stop doing all the work in your relationships. That you will give yourself and the other person the gift of participating. That you will accept the level your relationships reach when you do your part and let the other person choose what his or her share will be. Today, you will trust your relations to reach their own level. You will not do all the work, but only your share.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Letting things happen

We learned that painful and disappointing things happen, often for a reason and for a higher purpose. Sometimes these things work out for good. It’s not important to spend a lot of time and energy figuring out the purpose and the plan for each detail of your life.

It happens that sometimes the car doesn’t start. The dishwasher breaks. We catch a cold. We have a bad day. It helps to accept these irritating annoyances, but we don’t have to understand everything and to try to figure out where it fits into the broad scheme of things. It is important to tend to your responsibilities and to not take everything personally.

Everything happens for a reason. I was going down the street many weeks ago and noticed the building of a luxurious hotel. It looked just like a palace with seventeen stories and two outdoor swimming pools. I wasn’t satisfied with my current job, and I searched the new place on the internet. It just happened that the company was in the process of hiring all personnel for the grand opening. I applied, on multiple jobs, and then I waited. Weeks. Months. I forgot about my applications. And one day, I got the call, I had the interview and got the job offer in the palace.

All I needed was patience. I told myself that if it were meant to be, it would happen. And it did.

We don’t have to query every occurrence to see how it fits into our plan because the plan will reveal itself to us. The lesson here is to learn to solve our problems without always knowing their significance. The lesson is to trust ourselves to live and experience life.

Love,

Carmen Monica

Carving out time for personal pursuits

Most juggle with duties and passions, trying our best to find time for all in our busy lives. My friends asked me when I find time to write if I am working all day and I have a home to tend to. My answer is that I set aside one hour for writing every day. I sit in my room and write my thoughts down, I scratch them and write them again in a different form. Some had asked me why do I write? But I am asking you why do we need air? Can we ask the grass why does it need rain? Can we ask the butterflies why do they need wings?

Every day, we receive a call from our duties. It may be the house calling to us, the children calling to us, the work calling to us. We probably wonder when do the painting and the poem call to us?  Perhaps every day. But sometimes we are just too busy listening to everybody else instead of ourselves. Maybe it happens because we convince ourselves that we don’t have time for personal pursuits that bring us contentment if they take a long time. Maybe we just feel guilty for losing ourselves to our desires. Perhaps we don’t hear the whispers of our longings because we don’t want to hear. If we hear the call, we might have to acknowledge it and even respond. If we ought to learn to dance, draw, raise horses, build furniture, we might have to take a class or buy a book, fabric, or a pony.

Some will say that there is no time to be passionate because we have to be practical. Some things will have to wait until we have more time. We find excuses to push aside our longings or to ignore them until we are ready to admit that pursuing them it is essential for our happiness.

George Eliot said that “we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.”

Love,

Carmen Monica

The ones we love

There are many times when you want to tell how very, very sorry you are about the incapacity to ease someone’s suffering. There are times when you can do something about, and times when you can only witness the struggle with the pain, take a step back and just wait. You learn how to live with losses, with unfulfilled dreams, with betrayal, with the fact that you have been abandoned.

When you feel so lost that nothing makes sense and you ask yourself what to do when you feel this way, try finding a solution that is making a difference. It is unlikely that we will reach the same answer. Some will find help in medication, others will choose religion, others will talk to a friend, or a counselor, or a therapist. A friend may bring you comfort, cuddling a pet may bring you comfort, or a loved one may say things that resonate with you, or a support group of some kind, or dancing, or going for a walk, or yoga. The answer will be different for each of us. Try to discover what makes the most sense to you, and just as life looks worse now and then, it also gets better. Hang on for that moment, and try to find what feels best to you, and makes your life better again.

Try to understand that you couldn’t change what happened, that it wasn’t in your control, but it was in somebody else’s hands. You will always miss the ones you’ve lost, but in time, you will feel more peaceful about it. Sometimes, the loss is immense, but in time, you will laugh and smile when you remember silly things and fun times you’ve spent together.

The ones we love and lose remain in our hearts forever.

Love,

Carmen Monica