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How do I remain open and free of the build up of sludge that life can sometimes throw at me?

heart to heart
I lost my mother last year, after helping to care for her for many years, and I noticed her bitterness grow over those years. I see in myself the tendency to allow the slings and arrows of life to pierce my heart more deeply as I age. My capacity to ward them off or not let them accumulate appears to be diminished. I don't want to walk around with a hard shell around me and try to approach life in a positive and loving manner but success is not always mine to enjoy.

On the personal side, I was last divorced (yes, there was more than one) 21 years ago. For many years, I dated with several longer relationships along the way. An abusive childhood left me with an impaired ability to make intelligent choices in partners. Spiritually, I have grown significantly over the years and achieved some healing; however, I'm aware of missing the opportunity to communicate within a relationship to resolve issues. This would not have been possible with the individuals I chose for partners.

How do I remain open and free of the build up of sludge that life can sometimes throw at me while encouraging open communication in the spirit of love toward even those who may not like me? As I move forward toward a new venture, I want to learn how to communicate with others without carrying past hurts or even the dents from slings and arrows. I loved my mother dearly but do not want to be like her at the end and sense my expectations of others may be too high. Is there a way to achieve this?

Wallace's reply
Wallace Although your mother has now passed on it would appear that you are still connected to her. Have you ever been able to find your independence and your own voice? You may have had an abusive childhood, and that is a cross that you will carry through life, but if you learn from that and other suffering you have experienced, while refusing to blame your difficulties on other people, you will grow rapidly as a person.

You say you have high expectations of others. I sense that this attitude comes from your mother. You are becoming increasingly bitter as you grow older. Your mother was also similar. You need to break this aping and shadowing of your mother and develop more healthy mental habits.

Your suffering the slings and arrows of life, as you put it, may be due to a reluctance to forgive others for things they said and did. Realize and accept that the world is often ill mannered and at times cruel and focus on transforming yourself rather than blaming others and holding grudges.

Forgiveness is much easier if you refrain from having any expectations of others. I encourage you to look for and see only the good in others and the faults in yourself. That way you will find it easy to forgive others and transform yourself. Adopting this approach is the essential first step in personal development. You can only control your own transformation. As you grow in maturity your influence and example will extend outwards and others will seek out your advice and support. In this way you will eventually become a healing force for good.

By focusing your efforts at transformation inward, you will begin to listen more clearly to your conscience and other aspects of inner guidance to direct your life.

As far as practicing relationships are concerned, you may not have a romantic partner at present but life itself offers many opportunities to practice relationship skills. If you are intending to start a non profit organization you will be given lots of opportunity to develop relationship skills and to resolve issues.

Therefore I suggest you focus on three main areas...

  1. Learn to move out into your own light away from that of your mother. For this I suggest Phyllis Crystal's excellent book "Cutting the Ties that Bind." It gives exercises and advice to empower you to break unhealthy links with your past and move on.

  2. Develop your conscience and intuition by becoming dependent on inner guidance. For this I recommend my book "Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off." This book will help you develop a relationship with your Higher Self by learning to direct your life by being informed by your conscience and your intuition.
By using the help I have suggested to move into your own light, develop your intuitive ability and practice relationship skills with those around you, you will discover your Self and find that peace and contentment you seek as you grow older.

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