Honouring Myself and Others
Growing up, I remember teachings from the Church about honouring your mother and father.
Exodus 20:12 says, "Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you."
Then later I learned about honoring God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I think there was even a passage about honouring my husband in our wedding vows, although it's vague!
What's on my plate for 2011?
Love, Kindness, Thankfulness, Generosity, Understanding, Sympathy, Forgiveness
As woman and as a mother, it has become my nature to extend these emotions towards others. As an egocentric individual, these qualities rarely get extended towards myself. I often tell myself that I'm bad, stupid or "I hate you" for nothing more than simply being human. I wonder how, as a mother, can I truly teach my son to be loving, to be kind or to be forgiving when I don't offer these qualities to myself? Will he in turn learn to not love himself too?
A Trip Down Memory Lane
In Chapter Five, we look at Pearls of Wisdom. Pearls of Wisdom are tools you use to break negative patterns, in order to work through a problem. But, you have to address the real problem. Or rather, what behaviour is causing the mess in your room?
We're given a list of 9 "Pearls" that could fit a great many situations. This is helpful, but it's hard to imagine how we might use them until we've gone into the various rooms ... I'm a bit puzzled at this point, but here they are:
Drawing Your Emotional House
Our task for Chapter 4 is to draw our emotional house. Yikes! That sounds a bit touchy-feely to me ... I'm fairly sure I'm not going to enjoy this. But, I take out a piece of paper and begin.
I draw a Basement at the bottom; the Family Room, Living Room, Kitchen and Bathroom on the next level; and the Bedroom, Kids Rooms, Bathroom and 10th Room on the next level; with an attic at the top. Now, the trick is to decide on room sizes - which emotional rooms dominate. Deciding on room size has nothing to do with your value system, otherwise my kids' rooms would be the largest without a doubt. In this case room size has everything to do with how much emotional time or energy is spent on each space.
The Simple Abundance Path
I was introduced to the book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach in 1997. We had just moved to Edmonton. I was twenty something and experiencing the ups and downs of being a military spouse. It was the first time I had lived away from my friends and family.
Like many military families, we moved and my husband was gone - on exercises, courses, training and on a deployment overseas. We lived on the Griesbach base. At the time my oldest daughter was three-years-old and my oldest son was five-months-old. I was on my own and I was alone and to top it off I was experiencing my first real Canadian winter
Getting Started in the Nine Rooms!
I'm very excited to read "The Nine Rooms of Happiness". For those of you not reading the book, here is a brief overview. The authors (Lucy Danziger & Catherine Birndorf) have used a house as a metaphor for your life. Each room represents a different emotional area. For example, the bathroom is where you look at health, weight, and body image issues. The living room is where you look at your social connections and friendships. I think this appeals to my need for order and structure. Everything is nicely, tidily compartmentalized!
The analogy used is whether or not any particular room is neat. You will never have all of your nine rooms neat at the same time (unless you are super-woman), but you don't need them all tidy in order to be happy.
A More Serious Note
I was a smoker for 15 years. I started at the age of 16, although my first drag was at 12. I remember getting upset with my parents one day. So, in an instant I made the decision to get in my car, go to the store and buy a pack of smokes - believing this is a way to calm my nerves. It seemed to work at the time and I was hooked.
For the next 15 years I smoked my way through high school graduation, through the end of University, into a new career and finally, into a new life as a military spouse in Canada. Of course, it wasn't always to calm my nerves. It was also to feel good, to party, to be cool and so on. As I look back at each stage in my life as a smoker, I see that each stage presented a new set of challenges or adjustments and there was one constant that remained - the cigarettes.
On January 16th my Grandmother passed away at the age of 91. She had a long and beautiful life. She was so loved by family and friends and will be greatly missed. While writing a memoriam for her funeral next week, it made me think about my role as a Granddaughter and how I am no longer a Granddaughter to anyone as she was my last grandparent.
I was such a lucky child. My Grandma and Grandpa (we called him Mumpa) on my Dad’s side lived in the same city and we saw them at least once a week for Sunday dinners and they were at every birthday, holiday, or special occasion. My Mom’s parents lived in the US, and we didn’t see them very often, but they did everything they could to be a part of our lives whether it was mailing letters, recording bedtime stories on tapes and mailing them, or phone calls. I always knew, all of the grandkids knew, that we were very loved.
I have spent a large portion of this past year travelling with my toddler. This includes travelling to Calgary to visit in-laws, overseas to Italy for my husband’s HLTA, weddings, a trip to the U.S. to visit my sister (see previous blog entry), and now we are in England for my husband’s work and a vacation. So, I thought I might share some of my tried and true travel tips.
The Next Blog Topic - "The Nine Rooms of Happiness"
Now that 2010 is behind us, it’s time to move on to a different book. Simple Abundance was a real pleasure to blog my way through and I think I’ve found my next topic: “The Nine Rooms of Happiness” by Lucy Danziger. Apparently, she uses the various rooms of a house as a metaphor for life. I saw the author on a talk show over the holidays and I’m really excited to give this book a try. So, if you are interested in reading along, pick up the book this week and we’ll get started next week!