Today, mom and I are featured in a post by @geoffreyfowler on the Wall Street Journal Digits blog in the story, "Facebook ‘Friending’ Mom: The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift?" Indeed, a very exciting moment for this blogger...and my mom as I can hear her screaming through her iPhone in excitement.
I've been tweeting about my mom's venture into Facebook because it's so cute and hilarious. Geoff saw this tweet I wrote yesterday about how mom always ends her wall posts to me with "Love, mom," and that is how the story came to be. However, I also believe this opportunity came about because of something much bigger, and I'll share it because it's a great story about growing and love. It's also a good "I tried something new" post because even though it's not about food, I did nourish myself in a new way.
The choice: Open heart or closed heart
Yesterday, I posted about seeing the flowers beyond the cactus, which was about a painful thing that happened between a friend and I. In handling that situation, this time I chose to head some of my mom's best advice which is, "Always be a class act."
So, I asked myself, what is the classy thing to do?
I chose to not go into that dark place and shut down. Even though I was filled with a great deal of hurt and pain, I chose to react with grace instead of similar attack. I chose to get real about how I contributed to this situation because I am no angel either. I kept my heart open and reached out to people. This does not make me better than my friend. All it means is that I made a different choice than he did. He too can make different choices now and in the future. Everything in life simply comes down to our choices and what we want to create.
I chose to send more love out into my world inspired by something I read in A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle where he said that if there is something you feel the universe is withholding from you, it is because you are withholding that thing from the world.
For a long time, I've felt like the universe has withheld love from me...and more specifically romantic love. I see so many people around me in relationships and I'll share that I wonder often, "What about me? What's wrong with me that love alludes me?" As I write this and see the thought in print, I can see why. Geez girl why you focused on lack...and that is what I have created, a lack of love.
I try something new, not with food but with love
So, this time, I took Tolle's advice and sent out as much love as I could. But, I do it without any expectations of getting anything back in return or expectations of how things should look or happen. I was just more curious to see what happens when I throw the love mojo out.
With the help of many signs from the universe like random posts on my Facebook wall and Twitter stream about the power of love, random stories from friends about how they overcame a broken heart in a positive way, and random sentences in books and magazines which felt like a higher power was talking directly at me, I choose to do something different and kept my heart open instead of closing it...which I would normally do in the past.
This time, I chose to see that my friend is letting his pain run his life at the moment and hope that one day he will grow from this and make things right. I chose to send more love out into my world by just doing small random things like being more interactive with friendly and loving comments with my Facebook, Twitter, and blog friends.
I chose to smile more at people while I was walking down the street. I chose to look myself in the mirror and say this time, "You are awesome Steph and some guy is going to pretty damn excited to be with you!" That my friends was a big time first for me...being my own cheerleader when it comes to love.
Most importantly, I just chose to keep my heart open especially when the pain and hurt started to rear it's ugly head. That was admittedly tough to do, but as my friend Kevin would say, "You need to walk through your fire because the only way past it is through it."
I decided that I needed a dose of positive male energy, so on Wednesday I hung out with @bmok for lunch, and then enjoyed Cinco de Mayo margaritas with @gawthrok, and then spent Thursday morning with @jwillensjy with the vegan muffins, rice lattes, and meeting new friends @aussieheather and @azmissy. I even saw @FnBAZ who is just one of the sweetest guys around.
Yesterday, I also made the choice, to make things right with someone I had shut out last year when he and I had a similar painful situation. He tried talking to me and instead of me talking to him, I felt justified in my behavior because I felt it was my turn to inflict hurt so that he could experience what he had done to me many times before. He and I go back to the 80's and have this long, long history.
Anyway, I chose to take ownership of that situation and make it right in the sense of trying to create a good place, some positive energy between he and I. He didn't have to accept my reaching out, and it didn't matter if he did or not because I realize that this was more an exercise for me in simply reaching out, opening up, and again taking accountability for my actions.
As a result of all this focused sending out of love and keeping my heart open this week, this is what happened:
- I have peace and much love. My heart has been feeling broken pains yes, but I feel like I'm swimming in a vat of loving energy. There is no angtsy trauma because I didn't go there. I went somewhere more positive instead and let go of what love is supposed to look like. Yeah, there is no guy but I got love pouring out the ying yang, and it's wonderful.
- I have strengthened relationships and are building new ones with people who are equally open and friendly, and value me as I feel about them.
- My friend in CA not only was happy to hear from me, he opened up to me in a way I have never seen before and it was incredibly beautiful. It made my heart swell with so much love I can't begin to tell you. We are definitely in a wonderful place and I feel we have our friendship back.
- The Wall Street Journal opportunity appeared, and as my first media mention in that publication, I get to do it with my mom. That is so cool!
- I got a nail in my tire, and I took it to Big-O, where I always buy tires, to get it fixed, and the service was done for free. Money has been tight this month, and this break was such a gift.
- I got a letter this morning from the IRS saying that they redid my tax returns, and they sent me money back. Yes, the government sent me money back! Holey Cow!
When someone does something hurtful to you, you can react with grace or like hurt. Whichever you choose is what will come back to you.
What I learned in this experience is that the universe does not reward you for good behavior, no. What happens is that the universe simply gives back what you have given out.