I Appreciate My Follow Friends! Now, What To Do With Regrets From Your Past That Live In The Present?

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“A very special THANK YOU to all my followers, friends, and all visitors who made this new milestone HAPPEN.”  🙂   Author, Marilyn Fowler  🙂
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Do you ever think of your past and find ‘what ifs’ running around in your mind? What if I hadn’t done that, what if I’d done something different? Mistakes and Regrets. And you spend your whole life agonizing about how different life would be had you made wiser choices in the past. Everyone goes through it, but you don’t have to live with it.

“One day, perhaps, you will see for yourself that regrets are as nothing. The value lies in how they are answered.”  ~Steven Erikson, House of Chains

What kinds of feelings come up when you think of your mistakes…anger about what you did or failed to do, sadness at how things turned out, guilt, stupidity, disappointment in yourself or feeling others disappointment in you? We can be pretty hard on ourselves for being imperfect. I’ve never known a perfect person. But I have known some pretty great imperfect people. So you don’t need to keep beating yourself over the head and getting into ‘what ifs’ because you stumbled in the past.

Getting stuck in regret, self-criticism or blame can rob you of confidence and clear vision and then sabotage what you may want to create now. You can harbor your regrets, and stumble through life, but every decision you made was based upon your knowledge at the time. And maybe the path you took was necessary to move you to create something better. Louise Hay says, “Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.”

When I worked in the jail with a Mental Health Team, I counseled homeless inmates incarcerated for trespassing, stealing food, yelling at police officers, etc, some with mental illness and some without a mental disorder. And many came from dysfunctional homes with physical and/or mental abuse. I heard a lot of ‘what ifs’ from them with poor self-images and memories of one mistake after another. They saw few worthwhile qualities in themselves and no hope for a positive future. But as I worked with them I found many bright minds with potential for a better life, and many learned to see their mistakes not as reasons for blame, but as learning tools to turn their lives around.

Cut away the nonsense, the drama, the regret, the scars of the past, and make a decision to no longer let them govern your happiness and freedom. ~Steve Maraboli

 

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Awareness: Sometimes we’re not aware of what’s churning in our subconscious robbing us of the freedom we need to grow on our journey. If you have a sense of something holding you back, look inside and see what’s in there. Any guilt and self-condemning thoughts? Any memories you’ve hidden somewhere so you don’t have to re-live them? Bring them up and begin your road to freedom.

Forgiveness: You’re not your mistakes. You’re not stupid or incompetent. So you don’t need to forgive yourself for being who you are. You need forgiveness for doubting yourself and allowing your mistakes to create a false image of you. Deal with your mistakes and feelings from your true self. Affirm your positive qualities often, acknowledge who you are, and claim your true identity–a beautiful person who goofs up sometimes.

Confrontation: There’s power in thoughts and more power in words. So when any self-condemning thoughts come up, talk to them directly, out loud when possible. Tell them you’ve had enough, and you’re letting them go … goodbye! Refuse to let them hang around.

Comfort: Comfort that inner child part of you who’s been suffering for too long. Give her/him lots of hugs with love and approval. And when you make your next mistake–and you will–do the same with that mistake and all the others that follow. You’re the caretaker, and your inner child needs you.

I can’t count the times I kicked myself in the rear end with regret, and it always took a while for those thoughts and beliefs to give up and go away. But each time it was a new step forward. And I wish those steps forward for you.

Let the past go and enjoy your freedom.

Marilyn Fowler, Author of Silent Echoes



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Your Thoughts Direct The Quality Of Your Life. What Are You Thinking?

Hello Friends, Readers, and Visitors,

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“Listen when your body whispers to you, so you don’t have to hear it scream.” ~ Unknown

Every day we’re faced with stressful situations, minor to life changing. And we’ve been given a mind to guide us to positive outcomes. But we don’t always listen to the part of our mind that’s divinely tuned in to truth. We listen to the confused rattle of our human thinking, and allow our thoughts to keep us stuck in situations we don’t want. But whatever the situation, if we’re aware, there’s usually a reminder to lead us back to where we need to be.

Recently, I went to my physical therapy session, and noticed a message on the wall. It said, “The body achieves what the mind believes.” Aha. I know that. And so do most of you. But when you’re in pain, and you see no way out, it’s easy to forget. We just leave everything up to the doctors and whatever they prescribe with a ‘one size fits all’ attitude.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”  ~ Jim Rahn

I’m struggling with an 8 month old injury to my side and back, and I never once remembered the power my thoughts have over my body. I’ve just plugged along every day wondering when I’ll finally recover and the pain will stop. No positive thoughts there — just ain’t it awful-until I was reminded to examine what my mind believes about my health.

It’s easy to forget that every issue in your life is a reflection of your thoughts. And maybe your thoughts are in the wrong place. A few years ago I was facing a nagging problem believing I had to resolve it, me alone, or it would not get resolved. Well, I’d done everything I could think of, and nothing changed. Then one day I was standing outside looking up at the sky, feeling very inadequate and frustrated when I heard a voice in my head (no, I’m not crazy) saying, “Leave the orchestration to God. He/She knows the music.” Wow. 

I realized then that some situations, like relationships or work, require more than my efforts, and I could not change everything myself. I actually got in my own way with my worry and fretting. So I stepped back and took a breath, did what was mine to do, and the rest easily came together. By the way, I told my dentist about what I’d heard, and he made a plaque for his desk with those words on it.

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”  ~Marianne Williamson

Some situations in life such as any kind of personal loss cannot be changed. They are what they are. Butthey don’t have to destroy you. I know someone who’s wheelchair bound with multiple sclerosis, and at first she was devastated. But she changed her thinking and found peace. Now she is remarkable. A friend takes her to lunch every week, she and a neighbor ‘walk and roll’ around their neighborhood every day, she does light chores around the house, she and her husband are active in the children’s program in their church, etc, etc. And she always has a smile for everyone.

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“Clear your mind of can’t.”  ~ Samuel Johnson

Every once in a while look around and see what
 you have created in your life. And if there’s something that needs attention, examine your thoughts about it, and correct your thinking if necessary. It’s important to believe in yourself and your ability to choose sound options for change. Ask for help when you need it, but think about what’s yours to do, and do it. And don’t forget to include and maintain hope and faith in the process. They will keep you moving forward. Move through each day in a state of awareness, and you’ll see your life unfold in miraculous ways.

I wish you good thoughts and a happy life.


Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer

I want to say a very “Big Thank You” to all who have followed me, visited, and helped make my Two Years here on WordPress such a “Delight!”  . . . .  *Marilyn*  🙂   XO

 

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2 Year Anniversary Achievement

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You registered on WordPress.com 2 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

Starting Over And Leaving Something Behind . . .

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as
an adventure. ”  ~William Feather

Starting over means different things to different people. What does starting over mean to you…some monumental, life changing, fearful transformation in your miserable life? It may be all of that…but not necessarily. Starting over can be involved in any number of scenarios from minor to serious, depending upon the situation and your ability to take action.

We start over dozens of times every day and don’t even know we’re doing it. You’re looking for the cereal aisle in the grocery store and take a wrong turn. Start over. You take the wrong book off the shelf, put it back, and start over. It can be as simple as changing your mind about something…anything. Some call it going back to square one. So we have a lot of practice starting over in non-threatening situations where the consequences are not life changing.

The only way around is through.”  ~ Robert Frost

But some situations are thrust upon you, like loss of a job, a loved one, money, your health, an important relationship, etc. It might even involve a broken heart you think will never heal. You didn’t cause any of it to happen, and you can delude yourself into thinking it didn’t happen. But you know it did. And if you want to survive, you have to get through it. You have to do something. You have to get up and start over.

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginning. ”  ~Meister Eckhart.

Sometimes the choice to start over is one you make within yourself to move from the status quo to a different path, like choosing the marry, move to another city, pursue a dream, etc. But it all involves starting over from your own conscious desires or being given a new direction. You may have a restless feeling inside, like there’s something you need to do, but you don’t yet know what it is. Years ago, I was working as a waitress, and for a long time I had that feeling. Then one day at work I heard a voice in my head say, “You have to work in the mental health field.” I was totally flabbergasted by that bizarre idea. I knew nothing about it, and had no credentials for such an endeavor. But it kept pushing me. So I moved to a new path and started over. I was scared, but I went back to school, and ended up working many happy years in the mental health field. You will know when it’s time to change the path you’re on and choose a new one.


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“You don’t need a new day to start over. You only need a new mindset.”
~Hazel Hira Ozbek                   


No matter what the reason for change, there may be some confusion, fear of the unknown, lack of confidence in your own ability, a situation that seems impossible, anything that could hold you back. If this happens, accept those feelings as quite normal, clear your mind, and begin moving forward with a new beginning. If you need emotional help, find someone you trust for help and support…family, friend, counselor. It’s wise anyway to voice your thoughts and feelings. This helps clarify your situation and give you the confidence you need. If you’re in a situation that can’t be changed, you don’t have to be controlled by it. It’s part of your life, but not all of your life. Your task now is to put some emotional space between you and the situation, and add something new in your life just for you.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe

Starting over always involves letting go of something and embracing something new. What is there you no longer want or need in your life? What are you ready to release? Write down where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go…and what you’ll need to get there. Then begin releasing what you don’t want, and start over on your new path. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. You have the ability to create whatever you want. Go for it.

I wish you happy days ahead!

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer  of  ‘Silent Echoes’

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Love Your Whole Self Right Down To Your Toes.


This week I’ve been dealing with a health challenge, and was not able to get an article ready for today’s blog post. However, I found a whimsical short story I wrote several yeas ago that may give you some chuckles. And, hopefully, you will forgive me for coming up short this week.

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MY RENEGADE TOES
For as long as I can remember my little toes have denied their relationship to their eight sisters. But they’re born of the same feet, so they can’t escape their heritage. While the eight march forward with heads straight up, these two turn on their side and point outward from the others. I always felt embarrassed when someone glanced at my strange toes. Those little ones were embarrassed too and searched for a quick escape. But they were dreaming. Unless they get caught in a wild hacksaw, they’re attached for life.

For years we experienced one conflict after another. Cutting those little toenails takes expert wrist manipulation. I have to twist the clippers around and hold the toes while I cut from the side. Until I became adept at this maneuver, I got a lot of flack when I caught some skin in the process. It was only a little skin, but you’d think I actually severed the toes.

Our trips to the shoe store were torture. Those toes objected to everything I put on my feet. I tried strap sandals, but they stuck their heads out between the straps, and then blamed me for their discomfort. But I refused to consider any of those sensible clodhoppers like my mother chose for me when I was growing up. For a couple of years, in defiance, I feigned a smile and sashayed around in my mini skirts and gorgeous black spike-heeled shoes with pointed toes. But I had to relent and give up my beautiful stylish footwear. I could no longer tolerate my little toes’ suffering.

I tried going barefoot at home to give them a rest, but they experienced painful injuries before I learned to send out invisible antennae when passing a protruding chair leg or some lethal weapon that might catch one of them in midair. Each time they got caught, they yelled all the way up my leg. It took an ice bag to quiet them down. Once I tried nail polish to improve their mood, but they sabotaged that project. In no time they were scratched and half-naked while the others stayed a bright color. I just couldn’t please those guys. (girls?)

I was at a loss to find a mutually agreeable remedy for our unhappy relationship until fate brought a blessing into our life that changed us forever. A few years ago, I was in a serious car wreck, and I spent two months in a residential rehab facility. Soon after I arrived, a nice aide put lotion on my foot–the other foot was in a cast. That gesture sent me half way to heaven, but what he said sent me the rest of the way there.

“You have such nice feet,” he said. “Many people’s feet are really messed up.”
 Wow. Either he didn’t notice that little toe sticking out, or he felt with a toe like mine, I deserved a kind word about my feet. Either way, I loved him for the compliment. After that, lying in bed with broken bones wasn’t so awful. And my little toes took on a new character. I often looked down at one toe enjoying the freedom to lie quietly in painless repose, and the other toe safely wrapped in the cast on my foot. And I realized those little toes were not a separate entity infringing on my life. They were a part of me, as important as any other. And I was grateful all of me was still intact.

When I recovered from my ordeal, I gave up my need for style and headed straight to the shoe department I had so often avoided. My little toes were thrilled when they saw where I had taken them. In no time, we walked out in a pair of sensible brown mud-walking shoes, and I could hear my toes giggling with pure delight.

I guess the secret to a happy life for me and my renegade toes rests with my choice of footwear. And you know what? It feels good to have all of us happy.

I wish you happy feet and a happy heart.

My heart, sympathy, thoughts, and prayers to all the families who lost loved ones in Orlando, FL.

Marilyn Fowler, Author

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What To Do With Regrets From Your Past That Live In The Present …


Do you ever think of your past and find ‘what ifs’ running around in your mind? What if I hadn’t done that, what if I’d done something different? Mistakes and Regrets. And you spend your whole life agonizing about how different life would be had you made wiser choices in the past. Everyone goes through it, but you don’t have to live with it.

One day, perhaps, you will see for yourself that regrets are as nothing. The value lies in how they are answered.  ~Steven Erikson, House of Chains

What kinds of feelings come up when you think of your mistakes…anger about what you did or failed to do, sadness at how things turned out, guilt, stupidity, disappointment in yourself or feeling others disappointment in you? We can be pretty hard on ourselves for being imperfect. I’ve never known a perfect person. But I have known some pretty great imperfect people. So you don’t need to keep beating yourself over the head and getting into ‘what ifs’ because you stumbled in the past.

Getting stuck in regret, self-criticism or blame can rob you of confidence and clear vision and then sabotage what you may want to create now. You can harbor your regrets, and stumble through life, but every decision you made was based upon your knowledge at the time. And maybe the path you took was necessary to move you to creating something better. Louise Hay says, “Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.”

When I worked in the jail with a Mental Health Team, I counseled homeless inmates incarcerated for trespassing, stealing food, yelling at police officers, etc, some with mental illness and some without a mental disorder. And many came from dysfunctional homes with physical and/or mental abuse. I heard a lot of ‘what ifs’ from them with poor self images and memories of one mistake after another. They saw few worthwhile qualities in themselves and no hope for a positive future. But as I worked with them I found many bright minds with potential for a better life, and many learned to see their mistakes not as reasons for blame, but as learning tools to turn their lives around.

Cut away the nonsense, the drama, the regret, the scars of the past, and make a decision to no longer let them govern your happiness and freedom. ~Steve Maraboli

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Awareness: Sometimes we’re not aware of what’s churning in our subconscious robbing us of the freedom we need to grow on our journey. If you have a sense of something holding you back, look inside and see what’s in there. Any guilt and self-condemning thoughts? Any memories you’ve hidden somewhere so you don’t have to re-live them? Bring them up and begin your road to freedom.

Forgiveness: You’re not your mistakes. You’re not stupid or incompetent. So you don’t need to forgive yourself for being who you are. You need forgiveness for doubting yourself and allowing your mistakes to create a false image of you. Deal with your mistakes and feelings from your true self. Affirm your positive qualities often, acknowledge who you are, and claim your true identity–a beautiful person who goofs up sometimes.

Confrontation: There’s power in thoughts and more power in words. So when any self-condemning thoughts come up, talk to them directly, out loud when possible. Tell them you’ve had enough, and you’re letting them go … goodbye! Refuse to let them hang around.

Comfort: Comfort that inner child part of you who’s been suffering for too long. Give her/him lots of hugs with love and approval. And when you make your next mistake–and you will–do the same with that mistake and all the others that follow. You’re the caretaker, and your inner child needs you.

I can’t count the times I kicked myself in the rear end with regret, and it always took a while for those thoughts and beliefs to give up and go away. But each time it was a new step forward. And I wish those steps forward for you.

Let the past go and enjoy your freedom.

Marilyn Fowler, Author of Silent Echoes

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Validation. Do You Allow Other Opinions To Determine How You Feel?

Validation–that sense of self as unique, worthy, and valued, with a connection with others and the universe. Validation, with no judgment, is vital for inner peace and happiness, and without it you may feel you don’t matter. You may even feel invisible. In other words, validation requires unconditional recognition, acceptance, and appreciation for the whole person you are.

You may remember when someone lifted your spirits, and you felt good about yourself. And you may remember when some put you down, and you felt like a nothing inside. So others have the power to validate positive and negative, and you go through the ups and downs of how others make you feel.

Most of us get some positive validation from others, but there are those who live their whole life with a self-image of nothingness. When I worked in the jail, I counseled the homeless mentally ill. Sometimes I told them I saw their bright mind and good heart, and they could do something with their life. Their reaction was always the same. They’d pause, overwhelmed with tears, and say, “Nobody ever said that to me…nobody.” Then they’d wipe their tears on their shirt sleeve and smile. Validation gave them some meaning in their empty life.

We need to let each other know we’re important and appreciated, but in order to gain dominion over our own feelings we need to learn self-validation from within. What would it be like if you validated yourself, and didn’t need it from anyone else? You would have dominion over your feelings, and it would prevent opinions by others from invalidating you. And you’d be free.

“The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own.”   -Steve Marboli

“Darn right I’m important. And nobody’s gonna convince me I’m not. So there.”

Self-validation is a life-long process, and our experiences teach us what we need to know about ourself. We become less critical; we gain more understanding and tolerance of our total self; and we free ourself to be who we truly are. We don’t create a new person. We simply allow our true Self to emerge.

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So how do you learn self-validation with strength to maintain it?

1.  Assume the role of observer, and think about how you really feel about you. Sad, wounded, pretty good, could be better, disappointed, etc. No judgment. Just observe and let it be.

2.  You don’t have to like every feeling you have, but you do need to own all of your feelings. They’re yours. They belong to you. And you can do whatever you want with them. Throw them in the trash, hang them on the wall, get a refund. Notice when you’re feeling judgmental, and decide you’re done with that feeling. Take judgment and criticism out of your life forever.

3.  Identify and list what you consider positive and negative about you. Decide what you want to keep and what you want to release.

Example:  I interrupt people when they’re talking. I can release that one.
I let dishes pile up in the sink. It’s okay to do that. (Smile) etc.

4.  Start being kind to you, and know you deserve it. Give yourself what you missed as a child; begin giving yourself what you seek from others; when you feel unhappy or stressed, ask what you need, and when possible provide it for yourself; watch for success and praise yourself.

5.  Accept mistakes and shortcomings as part of your learning process, and everyday look in the mirror and say, “This is me, warts and all. And I’m absolutely amazing.”

As you move along, practice relating less to your human self and more to your higher Self, that part that transcends human pain and knows the truth of who you are. Take back your dominion over how you feel, and let that higher Self shine with love and peace in your heart. You are beautiful.
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May you always be true to your special Self.

Marilyn Fowler, Author
Of Silent Echoes

 
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How To Let Anger Work For You, Part 1, Causes

Hello And Welcome Friends,

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“At the core of all anger is a need that is not being fulfilled.” ~Marshall B. Rosenberg~

The pot of spaghetti slammed into the wall, and I watched my supper run down onto my clean kitchen floor. I stomped my feet in it, and then got a hammer and a box of nails and went out back to repair the backdoor screen through which I’d just thrown a chair. I already needed to buy a new lamp. The one I threw across the room last week was beyond repair.

That was me–way too often–for too many years when repressed anger broke down the dam and gushed through with a mighty force. I know about anger. When I was a child, I was forbidden to show anger. But it had to go somewhere, so it seethed inside, waiting until I became an adult and could let it loose. It was my enemy, uncontrolled and very painful.

Anger is a complex critter. When projected outward, it becomes destructive, sometimes even lethal. It can ruin relationships, careers, even property, as in my outbursts toward whatever inanimate object was within my reach when the monster reared up inside. Society tells us we shouldn’t get angry, and if we do, we should just suck it up. As if stuffing it down somewhere inside is going to dissolve it. When anger is repressed, it can cause ulcers, blood pressure imbalance, heart disease, any number of illnesses. On my 30th birthday, I vowed to never have another angry tantrum. And I didn’t. But then my anger turned inward, and caused severe depression.

According to Marion Moss in her book, ‘Removing Your Mask’, anger is a specific form of fear at a very deep level, and most anger shows that people’s internal and external realities are not in balance. The real message of anger is almost always about one’s own beliefs, perceptions, or actions in a given situation or with particular people, not the situations or people themselves. P194-195.

“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.” ~ Eckhart Tolle ~

So what causes anger? Where are you hurting?

Anger is often your response to a thought, idea or belief that you’re being treated unfairly or threatened by someone or something--look what they’re doing to me–or that you’ve fallen short of your own standards–I’m so stupid. I should have done better. These perceptions may be associated with self-esteem issues, a need to feel secure and safe, personal exposure, your own imperfection, loss of something tangible in your life, or something as simple as a need to be right. For some, being wrong means invalidation of self, but being right provides a false sense of power.

When a situation arouses an inner fear, you may perceive anger as a way to deal with the situation–sometimes just to let off steam like throwing a chair through a screen door. Some of your perceptions may be accurate, but lashing out in anger is not the answer.

Anger is a natural human emotion, and it can kill you or save your life, depending upon how you use it. But you must use it wisely for it to work for you instead of against you. Next week I’ll go into some ways to tame the tiger and put you in control, ways to allow it to help heal your fears and grow in truth.

I wish you enlightening discoveries friends. . .

Marilyn Fowler, Author
http://www.amazon.com/Silent-Echoes-Marilyn-Fowler/dp/1432749498