Peace Today?

img_0155

   “Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.”

~ Henri Nouwen

Advertisements

Love Yourself first.

As we go into this Hallmark made holiday week, I find myself reflecting about the first love of my life.
Well, not the first romantic love of my life, but Michael is a good story if you ever want to ask me about him.
This first love is self- love.
This is the love that I am cultivating finally, in mid- life. The love that I realize has to be present in order to truly love another person.
Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite author’s says, “We can only love someone else to the degree that we love ourselves.”
Seriously.
She says that some will argue that they love their children or their partners more than they love themselves.
They say that it is possible.
She says, no it is not.
I agree.
I can only love you to the degree that I love me.
Here are some of the things that get in the way of loving ourselves (that get in the way of me loving me):
~negative self- talk
~people pleasing
~hiding who we really are for fear of rejection
~comparison
~judgement
What I have found is that when we are doing any or all of these behaviors we are not cultivating love, rather we are creating large areas of shame, guilt, and blame within us.
We are pushing away instead of pulling in.
We are building walls instead of opening doors.
We are creating fear instead of allowing love.

I decided that this was a good week to start speaking up. To start “outing myself” so that you might feel like you could “out yourself”, and together we might feel brave enough to take on the self hatred and self- loathing that is at epidemic proportions in our lives. Empathy allows us to do that with one another.  I know that I am not alone. I know you understand. I know you have been there or are there.

It is not easy to love ourselves in a culture that is constantly telling us to be more, do more, have more, and that we are not good enough until we have made it – whatever that mean to us. It is not easy to love ourselves when we came from families that gave us similar messages.

It is not easy, but it is essential. It is important. It matters to our evolution- inside and out.

It will change the world.

Seriously.

 

 

 

 

Love is in the …

Fruit?  It is today!

heart

Have you ever used a dehydrator?  I had not either until recently.  I cannot say that I am hooked on dehydrating, but I am hooked on apple chips.  This lovely apple chip just came out of the dehydrator last evening.  Why am I hooked?  Well, personally I love dried fruit – practically any dried fruit!  Apples are so easy to make and within 12 hours of cutting them up, you have apple chips.  They are crunchy and sweet and a favorite snack.  My next batch I want to add cinnamon … I think that will be just delicious!

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can do them in your oven.  Here’s how: Line a baking sheet with parchment and place slices of fruit on the sheet, making sure the pieces of fruit aren’t touching each other. Place trays of fruit into the oven and turn on the oven to 90°F to 150°F. Then just sit back and wait, as it will take many hours for the fruit to dry. Resist all urges to turn up the heat—you don’t want to cook the fruit, just dehydrate it.

Try it with all your fruit!  I bought some dried pineapple at Trader Joe’s and it was chewy and sweet.  I can’t wait to give it a try.  Stay tuned – I will let you know how it turns out!