A value "is a characteristic of merit to which we can live by”, Dr J Richard Cookerly, a relational Psychotherapist explains. It seems that though people say, “I love you” with relative ease, not many live a life of love. Actually, it doesn’t seem like many people define the values they live their life by.
We say we value honesty, but lie when needed: “I’m sick” to get a day off work, or “I returned the film by 7pm” to avoid the late return fee. We don’t mean what we say, or say what we mean, when a lie can smooth over the unpleasant truth.
Others say they value respect, but will laugh at a racist joke or gossip behind someone’s back. Or in a fight forget that they love and respect that person and deliberately say hurtful things just to win the argument.
If we value love, and chose to live a life of love, then all our actions, thoughts and words needs to be loving. We need to be kind even to the people who are mean or rude and don’t deserve it. We need to hold our temper in heated moments.
But imagine the world if everyone truly valued love. Doesn’t that thought take your breath away? Poverty, disease, illiteracy, arms
race, global warming-wouldn’t that all be solved by humanity together.
Dr. Adam Bartlett once said to me that ‘As everyone is cynical these days, the only radical position to be in life, is to be an
optimist.’ So even when it feels like a Pollyanna attitude to have, it’s time to choose to value love.
Inspiration is all around us. Today I had a conversation with my brother who’s spent the last year travelling, and he told me the
biggest lesson he is learnt is now nothing will stop him from doing what he wants to do.
And it’s so easy to let ourselves from doing what we want. There’s hundreds of excuses and lies we tell ourselves, and in the end we have to live with that quiet, or not so quiet, dissatisfaction.
One of the things we are told is “It’s easy to say ‘do what you want’, but in reality it’s hard.” But I believe life is as hard as we
make it or perceive it. If we say it’s hard to do what I want because of these forty reasons, then it will be hard. But if you focus on the positive, on the forty reasons it is easy or the forty great outcomes you will receive, then
suddenly doing what you want is easy.
Right now, right here, is all that matters. So the
question is what do you really want, and what are you doing about
When I was eleven my parents separated. I remember praying from the marrow of my bones to God to bring them back together. I’d never prayed with such intense desperation - I would pray so hard that I would be crying not to let my parents marriage fail, not to let my family fall apart. Despite my prayers, their seperation led to divorce. And it made me believe that prayers weren’t answered and there was no God.
Maybe this is how a lot of people lose faith, in crisis they see no heavenly response and so the result is to believe that there is no divinity in the world. Since then, I’ve found my faith but it was only recently that I realised I still had an unhealed wound
about God answering prayers.
What this week has taught me is that the universe answers all prayers but sometimes with a no. I think of it like a parent when a child asks for a third helping of icecream – sometimes a no is better for them then a yes.
I believe my parents were happier post seperation/divorce then they would’ve been together. I believe that my prayers were selfish of what I wanted, and not what was best for the family. And I believe that it was better that my parents were honest that they no longer wanted to be married to each other, than lie to each other, themselves, us children, and the community. Now, I can applaud their bravery in being authentic.
Now this all came about from a conversation with a friend, when I complained I had been praying for great guys to date but what I really wanted was something more serious, a divinely blessed union - or to decipher my hippie talk - the right one at the right time, for a long time. She asked me why not pray for exactly what I wanted and I replied I was too scared to pray for this, because I was scared to get a no from the universe. And this memory of praying for my parents to stay together and that feeling of denial from the universe came about.
If I’m praying for something that is not in best and highest interests then the universe will say no to me, and I’m okay with that. So I'm praying to meet the man of my dreams, to have a relationship that is loving, appreciative, and blessed. I'm praying to meet the
man I will marry and have beautiful babies with. I'm still a bit nervous actually praying for these things, but I'm working on having faith that the universe knows what is in my highest and best good and will provide that for me. Feel free to say a prayer for me, I can use the help ;)
My prayer for you is that all your heart desires be heard by the universe and answered for your highest and best good and for the good of all involved.
My French friend says that ‘Love is a great challenge’. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to appropriate this and say ‘Dating is a
great challenge’. Writing and dating have been mirroring a lesson for me, let go of the need to be liked and be authentic.
With writing it’s the lesson of writing from the heart, what needs to be written, not writing for marks or for approval of others.
With dating it’s been letting go of the public persona, the person I pretend to be (whom I think people will like more than the real
me), and just get real with people. My fear in being the real me was that the imagined hurt and pain if I was rejected, that I couldn’t stand them not actually appreciating the truth of who I am.
Recently I’ve been dating with this intention, feeling very vulnerable as to be dating without my lifelong persona doing all the work
for me. There was a very nice guy that was the first one to experience dating the authentic me (or at least as authentic as I could be). Unfortunately, after a few dates my fear of not being liked for my true self crashed into reality.
Him not really liking me didn’t turn me into a hot mess, like I thought it would. I felt proud I’d been myself and was honest during all the dates. It was better for him to say you’re not right for me, than I really like this fake person and be trapped into faking it for the rest of my life.
Not being liked is really not as bad as I thought it was. It was a bit of a shock though – I’d hoped that being authentic would pay off
dividends, and I would be rewarded for my bravery. But no, I’m kidding the rewards wasn’t the beginning of a great relationship, it was the gift of encountering my fear – of the reality of not being liked when someone had seen the real me.
I view the whole thing as a limiting belief I had to fully encounter and breathe through, to be free from it. And now I feel
empowered to be myself, I want to share my true self with others. It’s also that if I am my full self, free from pretence, then I also allow and encourage others to be their full self.
We are all perfect pieces of God. It’s an honour to allow people to know your full spectrum of humanity from the good to the bad. And truly it’s an honour when someone allows you to see everything that they are.
So I ask the Universe to bless every part of who you are, and to bless every part of who I am.
Sometimes only a moment if needed for the universe to change your life. You can be praying over something, worrying, focussing on something for a long time and then for reasons unknown to you – the universe delivers.
In the world of self help/spirituality there’s a lot of focus on the Law of Attraction – that if you believe, focus, and keep your
attention on what you want: it will happen. Sometimes people miss the disclosure that it will only be attracted into your life, if it’s meant to be or if it’s the will of the universe. Sometime we ask for things that are not in our highest or best good or something that’s not inline with the intentions of our soul or purpose in life.
For me, the law of attraction is not as easy as making a wish and expecting it to come true in thirty seconds. Like anything in life, it
takes work, persistence and a whole lot of time, blood, sweat and tears. Or maybe I just like doing things the difficult way ;)
However, I do believe in the law of attraction, that as the course in miracles states “There are no idle thoughts”. I was very happy to blog recently, that I finally sent out my resume to apply for some internships. This is something I have worried about, procrastinated over, and prayed for. Within twenty-four hours I had received a response from Sleepers Publishing (an Australian publishing house), and have started my first manuscript appraisal yesterday.
This is my first real step to a career in literary editing as well as being personally inspiring to read someone’s novel. To see
someone else succeed is the best endorsement that you too (one day) can also and will also succeed.
So my thoughts for today, if there’s something you’re worrying over, procrastinating about or praying for: Give the universe something tangible to work with. Send off a resume, send a text message, write an email, go to a networking event, or even smile at a stranger. It’s a trinity: Think, do, and have.
I wish that everything you think you should have (that is also the will of the universe), that you pursue it with your whole heart, mind
and soul and that it is granted to you quickly and easily.
Today, after three months of procrastination I finally did it – I finally applied for an internship!
After lazing around the house, slowly doing some household chores, I decided to do a little meditation. My mind drifted from
subject to subject, when I got a jolt –it’s time to pursue an internship. So, I turned on my computer, and googled internships, and found a sub editing internship in south Melbourne that was advertised four days ago. And then just for the sake of it I sent off another two email applications for internships.
It’s interesting to note that I was giving myself a hard time in November/December trying to force myself into applying for journalism
internships. Then I received my Editing and the Author manuscript back and my tutor stated in the feedback section that he thought I should think about pursuing a career in literary editing. Journalism doesn’t call me so no wonder I couldn’t email applications for journalism internships. Now literary editing, that tickles my fancy and it was very easy to send off my
I think sometimes we feel like our success is completely up to ourselves, we push ourselves with timelines and to get on top of things, to progress, to do…
Maybe sometimes, we just have to surrender and wait for everything to align so that the universe can offer us the right position, or
relationship or opportunity.
Maybe, the best things happen on the Universe’s timeline, not ours! We shall see
Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves that we either explode or implode! Myself, I like to implode. With university, work, roommates moving in/out, socialising, making enough time to see all my beloved friends/family and then to write… Well, I got so frustrated and tense – I got stuck. I had nothing to write about, nothing to say and the very thought of blogging made me even more frustrated and tense. So I didn’t.
It’s taken me nearly two months to unwind. But this is written from heart space – written not because I have to, but because I want to – it’s my choice. And that’s kinda what I thought I’d talk about. How doing something because you have to, never feels as good as doing something because you want to.
When I was a manager, my big boss always told me to motivate staff “to do what I wanted them to do, not because they had to but
because they wanted to.” And it’s true, a staff member being excited about doing something and wanting to go a wonderful job, will do that task one hundred percent better than someone doing something because it’s just their job, or because they’ve been told to do it.
And I think underlying this is that it means they were given a choice, and they have chosen to do something. When we have a choice we feel empowered. When we’re given no choices and forced into doing something, we feel disempowered and resentful.
In life, I keep myself positive about my life by reminding myself these are all my choices. It’s my choice to be at University
and not working fulltime pursuing a career. It’s my choice to work as a waitress instead of in the spa industry. It’s my choice to have a blog and to pursue my passion of writing. It’s my choice to support the environment in my daily choices of being a vegetarian.
These are all my choices – and this keeps me calm and empowered. Look at all your choices that you’re making, and if your choices aren’t filling your tank with positivity and energy – than make a new choice ;)
A new friend and I entered into a conversation about books, and I exclaimed in rapturous delight about my love of books and reading. He hasn’t read anything for awhile, and asked me to choose a book and lend it to him.
The guy has big dreams so I picked out Norman Vincent Peale ‘The power of positive thinking’ and put it on my bedside drawer to
remember to give it him the next time we saw each other.
The next day I wrote the previous about corrosive self-doubt, and afterwards marinating in my negativity I felt drawn to pick up
the book. It was like I’d never read it before, as if the words were written for me to hear right now.
One of the first affirmations Peale teaches is, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians iv. 13.). This
reminded me that faith is what enables miracles to happen. There is nothing impossible when you are working with the Universe.
Self-doubt exists only when you have lost your faith, in yourself and the powers that be. Peale says, “People who are inwardly afraid, who shrink from life, who suffer a deep sense of inadequacy, who doubt their own powers. Deep within themselves they mistrust their ability to meet responsibilities or to grasp opportunities…they do not believe that they have it in them to be what they want to be.”
I don’t want to be a doubter. That’s not me. I’m a dreamer.
The first blog I wrote was about my story about being lost, not sure what I was meant to do with my life, what career would be
meaningful and give me fulfilment, and then I received my answer, which was writing.
I’ve forgotten why I write, or want to be a writer. And it’s not about the marks, or the applause from family/friends/world. I write
because it’s my calling, because of the joy and creativity that comes from writing, and because I love it.
So after reading just the first chapter of ‘The power of positive thinking’ I’m feeling back on track, energised and excited!
I don’t think my friend will be getting this book for awhile :)
I’m addicted to being liked.
Writing is teaching me that people will never always like what you write or how you write it. That’s it okay not to be liked. I’m learning to let go of trying to control the good opinions of others, and allow them to think and feel however they want about my writing and me. And it’s such a relief.
Writing and creating is about the process, independent of the outcome – the mark or the reaction from the audience. Most of what I’ve written for Uni has been about trying to manipulate the tutor into giving me a high mark. Trying to write what they want to read. So it means, so far my writing hasn’t been brilliant.
For the last two years I’ve been referring to myself as a Uni student, not a writer, because all my writing has just been for uni. It’s
time to let my inner writer emerge, to own it and become it.
I’ve let all my fears that I can’t do it hold me back from really trying. I’ve told myself, I need to wait to finish Uni to learn all
it can teach me before I write. I’ve told myself it’s not time, I’m not good enough, I don’t have time. I’ve told myself a million lies.
I’ve started writing a novel, just a little - around two thousands words, and I’ve not shown anyone it because I’m scared they won’t
ike it. They’ll tell me its crap and stop wasting my time.
All this self-doubt becomes my writer’s block. I think about the characters, the plot, the literary layers constantly
- and in my head I can see it’s value and it’s worth. But I still can’t write it.
I tell you this not to try and win your sympathy or your help, but to own my truth of writing stagnation. And also to inspire you to
look at your own dreams, and be honest about what is stopping yourself from achieving them.
The first step is owning that your limiting yourself, and the second is changing your beliefs!
Hatred is a strong word, but I’ve been feeling too much of it lately.
Mostly it boils down to my current living arrangements. You know that my current housemates are moving out, and I was beyond happy about it. It’s been hard work to live with four people in a three-bed room apartment, and harder still to live with a couple.
However, now war seems to have broken out.
I’ve said one of my values is love – and I’m having trouble remaining loving towards them (the couple) or the situation. The problem
is money, of course. I can handle people eating my food, using my shower wash/bathroom supplies, stealing my kitchen items – but try and fuck me over with money and a tsunami of rage destroys every pretence of civility.
I’ve always thought of myself as a generous person, but I like to decide when to give. I don’t know how to simply ‘turn the other cheek’ – I want justice to prevail. But I also don’t want to be this angry, vengeful person.
There’s a lesson and blessing in everything. So I’m going to focus on the fact that I’ve had cheap rent and a nice place to live for the last two years. I’m going to appreciate that money is just energy, and I welcome new energy into my life to replace the old. I’m going to forgive my flatmates and acknowledge even if I don’t like what they’ve done, or condone their actions: they are human beings and deserve love and goodness. I’m going to pray for abundance for them and for myself.
PS - I'm not going to try- I'm going to do it :)
Penelope Jane Jones.