Thursday, November 10, 2011

Decorate Your Soul

Until I decide I won't, I am penning, these blog posts in support of my ongoing sacred journey course,“Creating a Life of Contentment,"  which began Sept. 15. For one entire year, we'll be traveling together as intimate companions: to relax, let go and rest into Love; to discover the bliss of our own life.

Decorate Your Soul

"Plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers."
 ~ Veronica Shoffstall*

I've carried this thought within me for many years now and have found it to be true ...

I remember a time—the stuff of which many relationships were made—that I'd wait for others to do nice things, romantic things, supportive things for me.

I'd wait. And wait. And then, when nothing showed up, when no efforts were made, I'd hold a grudge or ruminate on how disappointed I was that this person didn't give me what I felt I needed.

Hmpfh ...

When I lost my health, I had to learn how to give myself what I needed. This was difficult at first because, very honestly, as women, we give so much of ourselves to everyone. And when we are sick, or down and out, it's really nice to sit back and hope others will take as good care of us as we would them.

This doesn't always happen. Perhaps you have firsthand knowledge of this.

So, in time, I learned about self-love practices. Self-love allowed me to give myself the care and attention I needed in the moment ... to not wait (grudgingly) for someone else to give me what I hoped could make me feel better.

Like flowers. Or a nice home-cooked meal. Or help with the housework or child-care. Or a hug. I had to learn to give those to myself.

Peter McWilliams, author of Love 101 (quoting Oscar Wilde), describes it this way: "To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

To love ourselves with ardor and passion and devotion is not a selfish thing, but a self-aware thing. It is fortifying and affirming to lavish ourselves with the love we pour onto others. It is healing. And it can be very romantic too ...

I've discovered that self-love is the key to living a life of Contentment. If we like who we are and can give ourselves the same kind of care and attention we'd give others (without resentment), we can be happy. We serve as friend and lover to ourselves.

And when we do we become whole unto ourselves. Holy. Healed.

It takes time to engage with our self in this way, to grow into self-love, but it is possible, one self-nurturing choice at a time.

Today, consider decorating your own soul. Do it with generosity and leave the guilt behind. Do it with an open heart and receive it with one too.

Then savor the experience. An experience of self-love will be yours.

Today I celebrate that I find myself in this sacrosanct place (well, most of the time anyway). And because I do not hold onto shoulds or expectations about what others can do to make me happy, surprises come. Delightful expressions of love from your dear ones that you don't expect.

Like a bouquet of deep yellow roses. "Gold Strike" is their given name and my husband brought them home to me last night.

I think I've stuck gold, don't you? The flowers and the man? The path?

If no one brings you roses today, buy yourself some. Decorate your soul. Contentment can be yours.


*Here is Veronica Shoffstalls' poem, "After a While," the inspiration for this post, in its entirety:

 After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn.

©1971 Veronica A. Shoffstall


If you find that you get stuck in disappointment around the actions of others, consider joining me for my next tele-class, "The Spiritual Invitation of Disappointment"

Wednesday, Dec. 7: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. EDT


Sharon said...

One of us has great timing, and I'm going to say it's you. I just reposted this poem. Thank you, Jan.

Cheryl Wright said...

Veronica A. Shoffstall's poem is beautiful and inspiring. Just blew me away. So I shared it on Twitter and on my blog.

Mary MacGowan said...

"Decorating my soul" sounds Fun! I've been wondering about "fun" lately, where it fits in in the scheme of self-compassion, joy, self-kindnesses. Decorating is a great start and has potential for much beauty and silliness!

Julie G. said...

I come to this site to find you... when I need you. This Soul-full post and Veronica's poem was just what I needed today. You are Spirit-filled and Divinely led. Thank you for BE-ing you.

Jan Lundy said...

Sharon, very nice to see you here! I am happy you reposted the poem and that it spoke to your heart. Enjoy!

Cheryl, thanks for sharing it too!

Mary, the fun, the joy of soul-decorating. It sounds very good to me too. Puts a new spin on "interior decorating" too, don't you think? (LOL)

Julie, lovely to see you here too! I am glad that these words were what you needed to orient you back toward spirit today. Be well!