As I am getting my packing and cleaning done to travel down south for our Thanksgiving week, I am filled with a wonderful feeling of gratitude for where my life has taken me. I would usually be a nervous wreck, juggling preparations to Airbnb our home out while we are gone with a dog and a toddler in tow, but I told myself that I should enjoy this day. I will finish my chores and get to my destination without gaining some more gray hairs if I have anything to do with it.
This time of year is so go-go-go, but since moving to the retreat center, away from the bustle of the suburban life I had before, I have felt a major shift in priorities. At first, I felt cut off from civilization, wondering where the closest movie theater was or where I was going to find some decent sushi in a small town like Oscoda. I was so used to UberEats and take-out and quick solutions to boredom and dinners. Everything I could ever need was a short car ride away. With the change in availability I had to reassess how to live.
My wife always knew when we had to get out of the house and do something. She told me ‘ You have ants in your pants, let’s go find something to do so you don’t go crazy.’ She was right. I never felt content to just sit and chill out. I always had to have a running list of things to do and buy and finish. My to do lists were long and never complete. This made me feel itchy, like I always was forgetting to do something.
Now I have this beautiful home which is such a source of calm, with Lake Huron as my meditation teacher. My wife is with me to face any hiccups along the way, and there have been plenty. My daughter is healthy and goofy, dancing every morning with her smile that melts me. I can be a stay-at-home mom while still pursuing my interests and dreams of creating a retreat center and yoga studio. Even though my family and friends are three hours away, technology brings them into my living room whenever I need them for support and company. Instant gratification is overrated, and planning my trips to civilization is that much more fun when I know I can’t get that amazing sushi on a normal basis.
I am so grateful for where I am today. I am loved by so many and I am beginning to love myself too. That has been the hardest journey of all, to see my worth and that I deserve the love that has been given to me. I deserve to be happy and you do too!
So from my seat here sipping coffee with the newly risen sun on my face, I am grateful for you. I hope you have a Thanksgiving full of happiness and that you can stay in the present moment. Take more deep breaths and put down your phone between pictures. Look deeply at your loved ones and overlook your differences. They are small and only lead to suffering. Enjoy the time and every conversation or action you take will create your future with them. Remember you are loved and worthy of your abundance!
The most freeing feeling in the world is to let go of past grudges and aggression and forgive someone. In the past, I cocooned myself in anger and resentment toward the people in my life I felt had done me wrong. I stewed in self pity and malice, pushing away those who loved me, but didn’t love me how I wanted them to. I now see that it was a very small and selfish view of the situation. I was so focused on how it made me feel that I never realized that I was only making it worse with my attitude.
My anger has always been an issue throughout my life. It would come out as judgment of others, ‘hating’ things and people, and blowing up when I let my self-hatred gain strength over my emotions. I have recently realized that most of it stems from not feeling ‘good enough’ and placing myself into a separate bubble from other people who had different viewpoints than me. It was a cold and isolating place.
I have for the past little while been working on my self-love and being aware that holding onto this hurt and anger was creating poison inside me. The people who had done the hurting were not suffering as much as I was from not letting my emotions about past actions go. In some instances I have kept grudges from as far back as 20 years. This poison has been coursing through me unchecked and I am finally done with it.
I am worthy of love. Period. I cannot control how other people see or treat me, only how I will react to them. There is so much fear and hate in the world today that I will not be contributing anymore. We are all connected, all beautiful and perfect at our core. Most injury from others is just misunderstanding and assumption. If we come from a place of love, we can overcome any difference.
Just remember: You are worthy of love. Let go of the poison and breathe freely. We are one and I love you.