Life is a Highway, I Wanna Ride it all Night Long

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Journey to a Great Life with Grace and Contentment...Past 50

There is Life after Empty Nesting
I never realized the void that follows empty nesting of our kids. In our case, we even filled our home with furry treasures that needed our love and still this void existed.  Trying to fill it is just that, a filler, and not a healthy solution.  Looking at life as different Chapters of our complete Journey, is definitely a healthy solution, at least for me.  

This blog post is my journaling a revelation in that journey that is making me a better person, and allowing me to step into my next chapter of life with grace and contentment.  

As I approached this chapter there is more 'letting go' that needed to take place before finding the "Condos and Boats." (Private Benjamin was just a favorite movie of mine)

In my last Chapter of this great life of mine, I went from Single Parenting a beautiful young lady, to marrying for the first time in life and blending a family of two great stepsons with my daughter, now our daughter.  
I worked hard at treating the boys as if I gave birth to them, and that is good for them and a serious goal of mine.  You see I grew up in a blended family as well and saw my mom incapable of loving her blended family equally.  Instead she spoiled us (my brother and I) to death and simultaneously treated her blended in children with a less than loving attitude.  She just was unable to give that love to my step brothers and sisters, who by the way I also consider my brothers and sisters. I found this the stepping stone for me to make a difference in my family so that the experience was not repeated.  I sometimes am blamed for being over the top on a fair and equitable field but I would much rather be blamed for that than to pass on that part of her legacy to my kids.

First Things First: Unpack Your Baggage
It's true that baggage carried through life from life's experience causes and nurtures dysfunction.  It is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, but when we do overcome this, we can find contentment in ourselves and the result is living life with contentment and grace.  We have to learn to let go, trust and finally unpack and put away our baggage for good, otherwise we are settling for a victim mentality which will hold us back from moving onto the next chapter of life.

Deciding to take responsibility for me and accepting that I can't change others is a great first step to unpacking.  

1. Look inside ourselves and decide to heal the wound by forgiving ourselves in the process of facing our demons.  Yes we need to forgive ourselves...why?  Because the baggage we've been carrying and our responses to others in life may have been and likely have affected those relationships.  

For instance:  I once judged a friend of mine way back in the 80's on a moral issue.  I not only judged her but I let her know and exhaustively vented on the issue.  I became her moral compass and lost a precious friendship over that.  We are not anyone's moral compass and that was wrong.  So first I made sure to send a letter of apology with no motives other than to say I'm sorry for what I did, and next I forgave myself.  I truly healed and felt healed after doing this.

Don't be afraid to face your demons, it is so freeing and allows you to work towards 'loving who you are by just being YOU!'

2. Focus on YOU, not selfishly to the point of not being there for others, but rather give yourself attention, engage and concentrate both physically and mentally on the things that mean the most to you and you will find an incredible sense of fulfillment and happiness.  I just saw a post on my FB friends page that said:  "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." ~ Bertrand Russell  (Thanks Paul!)

3. Journal journal is so revealing and healing.  I experience so much growth from this.

4. Read...I just read a great book, it was a Christian book but that doesn't matter, what does matter is that it taught me to focus on the greater good and not allow my time and energy to get spent on things that pass out of our lives as quickly as they came into our lives.

5. If you're an empty nesting parent, let your kids know you love them, you would give your life for them, and then LET GO...give them the space they need to establish their lives now independent of you, and nurture their own family as life's course takes them.  Enjoy them but don't suffocate them with your love.  AND don't puff yourself up and think that they need your advice always to get through life...

MOM, DAD: Guess what? ,REVELATION:They'll survive and do well without us involved!  
I had this big fear that if I backed off it would look as if I wasn't interested anymore and didn't care, or want to be part of their life,  but that would have been the furthest thing from the truth.  Our kids have to learn that for themselves too

6. Learn to Love who YOU Are!!!  You are an awesome creation with so much to offer...problem is you've been offering it to everyone else and leaving yourself out...start sharing today and contentment and grace will be yours and your legacy passed onto your kids and their kids!  It's never too late!

Just sayin...

It's Only Me, Val  Ciao!

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