We are "Not Just" who we seem to be on this Earthly plane, but so much more. We are ALL children of a loving God who is calling us home to Love. This blog is dedicated to those of us on that journey together…
If someone tells you that you made them happier than they have ever been…
don’t be surprised if when they become unhappy you get all the blame.
We should not be held responsible for anyone else’s happiness but our own. Can we contribute? Yes, but only as much as it feels balanced, right and good. No one should sacrifice their long-term happiness for another. No one.
Being 100% responsible for our happiness isn’t easy, nor does it mean we will always be happy with everything in our lives… yet our happiness need not be controlled by external people or circumstances. Happiness should bubble up from within.
So make yourself happy! Contribute to the lives of others as it feels good to you… but walk away if you are ever blamed for another’s misery. It feels like they are giving you their power but really they just want to take yours away.
A little reminder of what Love in a loving relationship ought look like. So many times we say we love but we forget how important our actions are in reflecting our true sentiment. Love does not require we neglect or deny our own needs in order to love another… but it does require something of us if we truly want Love to exist. Love is an action word and without action love dies a tragic death. ❤️Ann
“Your happiness and well-being are important to me.
I do things from time-to-time just for this reason, with no strings attached.
I do not do these things because I have to but because I truly want to.
Not for your approval, not for your appreciation nor out of obligation but out of unconditional love.
I celebrate the opportunity to contribute to your life, because that is what true love does.”
I somehow missed the memo regarding love and giving. Did you get it? If so, I’d love to know what age you were when it arrived!
I always have received great joy in giving… especially to those I love. Learning quite clearly how much better it is to give than to receive I would find myself giving way more than I was receiving and taking pride in need-anticipation, creativity and exceeding expectation.
When I noticed that perhaps within a romantic relationship or friendship I was giving consistently more than I was receiving instead of acknowledging the imbalance I would work hard at lowering my expectations of the other. I’d remember the words “It is better to give than to receive” and be proud that I was doing Love right and optimistic that it would create the loving relationships I do desperately craved.
The problem is: I have needs. Actually, that isn’t the problem… the problem is that I would give to others without giving enough to myself or receiving enough for myself to get my own needs met. I would deny my need for rest, balance, respect, affection, attention, resources, creative expression, financial reimbursement… and resent the fact that I was giving so much and yet feeling so disrespected, under-valued, invisible… unloved. And yet, can you see how I created this myself by my misunderstanding of love and how true love gives?
If not, I can understand how you might have missed it. I did too for years and am just know able to see it and try to change my own behaviors and reactions. Giving to others while harboring shame or guilt in having a desire to have my own needs met kept me in a vicious cycle in over-giving to others and then feeling depleted and discouraged when others failed to give to me.
It felt selfish to give to myself so I would try to hide my needs or shamefully hide my efforts in meeting my needs. I was fearful I would be judged by others as I judged myself. Unconsciously at times I would manipulate others getting my needs met by using guilt or demands, but this never felt very good. It definitely didn’t feel like love.
Of course I often failed to make my needs known and I failed to request help from others when in need. Without awareness I sabotaged many opportunities for others to give to me.
So out of my unmet neediness I was not truly giving with love. How could I be when I wasn’t loving myself. My giving was tainted with neediness such as the need to feel attractive, valued, heard, seen, accepted, and unconditionally loved.
I can see now how it can be many times more loving to NOT give. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say to not give in one obvious ways thereby instead give something else, although not requested is way more authentic and healthy… and loving.
For example: by not giving my kids whatever they want… they are given the opportunity to work or earn what they want and learn how capable they are at times in getting their own wants and needs met. Another example is by saying no to helping look for the missing phone I am giving them the opportunity to figure out how to survive without me finding their phone… either by finding it themselves or learning how to live without it.
Not giving can also allow us the time to give to ourselves and meet our own needs. So, if instead of joining the search committee I continue to paint in my studio I can fill my need of self-expression and create through painting.
The cool thing is by giving to myself without shame I am more able to give to others without feeling depleted and resentful. By not over-giving and under-requesting I am showing others that I deserve respect. This creates the dynamic that increases the respect I will receive, not just by others… but most importantly by myself.
I suppose it may be better to give than to receive as long as we remember a few things:
1) The importance of keeping our closest relationships somewhat balanced over time in giving/getting
2) To release our shame or pride at having needs
3) To learn to request with love when we desire our needs met by another (request, never demand)
4) To self-give without guilt.
You see, to love is to give AND to receive… both are important in keeping not just Love alive and healthy but us as souls in human bodies alive and as healthy as well.
I’m not even sure what it means to have needs but I do know that recognizing them and unashamedly getting them met is an important component of self-love and validation of self-worth. Why haven’t I ever thought about this before? 💜
I have had this feeling somehow for awhile now that having needs makes me “needy” and who wants to be that?! Yet… I’m learning (slowly but steadily) that to have needs is to be human and to have them met is to be loved… even if it’s loved by yourself. 💜🦄💜
I need (1) to be appreciated for the unique person I am, for my gifts, my ideas and my contributions (2) to have the time and space to create (3) affection (4) to be encouraged and supported by those closest to me (5) healthy movement (6) time alone (7) time with those I love (8) smiles and laughter (9) sunshine (10) love 💜💜💜💜
Art by Ann with more to see so please follow me at my Ann McPherson Art Facebook or Instagram page! 💜
You can’t see how far you’ve come if you aren’t aware of where you’ve started. ✨✨
Sometimes you gotta sit down in the middle of your mess and look around. I mean really take it all in. Get your camera and take pictures.📸 Get some paper and take notes. 📝
Find a canvas and paint the picture. 🎨
See it. Feel it. Be here.
Be present and be aware of where you are… especially when it’s not where you want to be. ✨
There is value in truly accepting the conditions of where you are with your eyes wide open and fully aware. This awareness marks your beginning, for you must be here before you can go there.
When you look at a map before starting out on any journey you must locate where you are before you can start. 🔎
With an accurately identified starting point you can assure that you are heading in the right direction towards where you want to be. ✨
Without this knowing you are apt to wander around lost, possibly walking in circles never getting closer to where you want to be, your goal further and further away. ✨
Know where you are, identify where you started and then you can appreciate how far you’ve come… and this can be most encouraging for us along life’s journey. This keeps us heading on the best path towards our destiny and our dreams. ✨
I talked with the sweetest man yesterday. His name is Bill. I met him by almost bumping into him as I abruptly stopped in front of a store. A pretty spring blouse had caught my eye. I apologized and went inside to get a closer look.
“Excuse me,” he said. I looked up and saw that he had followed me inside. “Can I see your left hand?” taken aback I lifted my left hand to him asking “Why do you ask?” “Oh, I see that you are married.” he replied. “I was wanting someone to eat lunch with to talk to because my wife just died earlier this year.”
Right then I just knew we were meant to meet and to have this little talk. “I am so sorry to hear that.” I returned. They were married for over 62 years. She was “only” 81… and he is 86.
He went on to explain how had lost his wife in February of this year after having to admit her into a nursing home. He expressed regret of not paying someone to take care of his wife at home in her final days.
I could see the grief in his eyes. My heart reached out and I couldn’t help but give him encouragement and the hope. I nudged him outside away from the loud store music to talk.
“You obviously don’t know this about me,” I said “but I am a very spiritual person. I have had a special interest in life after death for many years!”
I explained how I have read and listened to hundreds of stories and testimonials of people who have passed and crossed the veil. These people have then shared their insights with the loved ones they have left behind, either by coming back via an near-death experience (NDE) or through an after-death communication (ADE) such as within a lucid dream or vision.
I asked if he was a Christian. No, not to convert him but to get an idea of how he perceived death and what his beliefs were on were his wife was now. He said his wife and he believed in God but often said that Heaven and Hell were mostly here in this life. I agreed expounding my beliefs on heaven and how life goes on after our bodies don’t.
I told him heaven is here… and likely our loved ones are much closer than we think… we just can’t always see them. I explained how we are all made of energy, that’s how even our bodies work, but that energy never ceases, it only changes form. Once we die we “vibrate” our energy at a different level. Just like with the light and sound spectrums there are frequencies we can’t see or hear but scientifically we know they exist. I had his full attention and his eyes never left my gaze.
I went on to encourage him to keep an open mind and open eye to his surroundings, that his wife was likely trying to let him know she was okay and not that far away! “Who knows?” I quipped “Maybe she is the one that caused you to bump into me!”
You know what? That wouldn’t surprise me! “She could even be here,” I said “listening to our conversation right now!” As I was saying that to him I got chills… and typically I correlate that with a spirit asserting their presence. He smiled.
He told me a little bit about his wife and how I reminded him so much of her, except she had auburn hair and was not blonde like me. It was a true compliment as you could tell he adored her. I thanked him. His eyes sparkled a bit and he continued to smile, as did I.
We talked a little longer and he again asked me if I’d join him for lunch, but I politely declined (by this time a friend had called him on his flip phone placed on speaker and asked to meet him at a restaurant nearby for lunch). He asked me my name, and I asked him his. He offered me a hug and said “I hope we run into each other again!” I do too Bill, I do too. And you know what? Somehow I think that we will.
I’m in healthcare so I feel obligated to show up for work. Plus, the owner of my clinic is a woman (and an incredibly awesome one at that)! So I will show up today wearing red to highlight the important presence of women in our society as leaders, caregivers, mothers, sisters, workers, and consumers. I proudly support National Womens Day to support all women of all races, religions, lifestyles and economic or social standing. We matter and we don’t need to be coy or overly polite as we remind the Nation and the World of just that. Love on ladies!
Some days just suck. Let’s face it. There are days (not so long ago) where I find myself all bent-out-of-shape, irritated and basically in a bad mood. I knew I didn’t want to stay there! Overtime I’ve realized if I want my mood to change it is up to me. 😳
How did I change it? 🤔With gratitude. ☺️💞 I took a moment to focus on on all that I was thankful for… taking my mind OFF of it’s toxic focus of all that seemed to be going wrong☠️and ON to everything that was going right👍🏼. And you know what? It worked! 👏🏼Gratitude is a powerful thing. ✨It’s a beautiful thing. 💖
I hope to always remember that Gratitude can change our mood, our day… and our life. Try it. You’ll be grateful that you did! 😉